Bhubaneswar, January 24: Senior BJP leader and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi on Tuesday claimed that the Odisha Government has admitted occurrence of large-scale irregularities in auction of mines in the State resulting in loss of thousands of crores of rupees to the exchequer.
“The State Government in a letter to the Ministry of Coal and Mines has admitted that leaseholders reported high-grade iron ore as low-grade after extraction,” said the bureaucrat-turned politician in a press conference here.
She had raised the issue of massive corruption in mining sector in Odisha in the Lok Sabha in December last year and sought Union Coal and Mines Minister Prahlad Joshi to intervene.
“I had raised the issue of massive corruption in mining sector in Odisha in the Lok Sabha in December last year. I have received the factual position in writing from Union Coal and Mines Minister Prahlad Joshi. Odisha Government has accepted the facts of corruption,” said the BJP national spokesperson.
Displaying a letter she has received from Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi in this regard, Sarangi said that the State Government has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the Director of Mines to investigate the irregularities.
“High-grade iron ore has been represented as low-grade, resulting in a loss to the tune of thousands of crores to the State exchequer and reduction of funding to the District Mineral Funds (DMFs) and National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET),” alleged Sarangi.
Sarangi said that, “Though the State has intimated the Centre that it has formed a panel to look into the issue, it has not informed on what type of preventive measures have been taken to improve the situation and what recommendations have been made by the committee.”
She said that the battle will continue till the system is corrected.