Odisha government has imposed a penalty of Rs 67,900 crore on 103 iron ore mining lease holders for allegedly violating statutory clearances and producing excess ore.
Following the inaction of Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), the state government took up the issue and served notices to these 103 miners including Tata Steel and the Aditya Birla Group’s Essel Mining and Industries.
Earlier, the state government had given the list of these firm to IBM but the latter is said to have not taken any action.
Abhijeet Naik, executive director at CLSA India said the matter may end up in litigation as the fine involved is a big amount.
In a company statement, Tata Steel said it would make a representation to the state government. The fine imposed on Tata Steel is nearly Rs 7,000 crore, media reports suggest.
The largest iron ore-producing state of the country, Odisha accounted for 50 million tonnes (mn t) of iron ore production in 2011-12 (76 mn t in 2010-11),
according to industry estimates.
Production of the steel-making raw material is likely to decline if the dispute between the companies and the government escalates.
Tata Steel said in its statement that the distinction between “irregularity” and “illegal mining” is the crux of the matter.
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