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State govt instructed to rework penalties for miners




 The State government has been instructed by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to rework penalties for miners in case of over-production of iron ore and manganese ore.

The CEC has been formed by the Supreme Court.  Official sources said the CEC has instructed the State government to reconcile penalties for some miners who had approached Supreme Court for reconsideration. The figures have to be adjusted against unsold inventory of some miners in the State.  At a recent meeting of the CEC, the mine owners had pleaded for rationalisation of the penalty worked out under Environmental Clearance. The mine owners had urged for considering certain anomalies like piled up, unsold ore at mine heads.

Notably, the apex court in a judgment dated August 2, 2017 had directed the State government to issue demand notices to all miners for recovering the cost of excess production. The court verdict came after a case was filed by NGO ‘Common Cause’. The court held that the compensation amount should be the rationalised figure as calculated by CEC  In its order, the SC had asked to recover 100 per cent compensation as opposed to the 30 per cent recommended by CEC.

Accordingly, the State government had issued two demand notices to some 150-odd errant miners. The first notice, seeking recovery of Rs 17,576.17 crore, was slapped on mining companies for producing ore beyond environment clearance limits.  In the second demand notice, the government sought to extract Rs 2,900 crore for violations of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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