The Odisha government today warned mine owners that their operations would be stopped if they failed to pay the fine for over-production by December 31, as ordered by the Supreme Court.
Around 10 mining companies, including state-owned 'Odisha Mining Corporation' have paid about Rs 5,000 crore as fine till yesterday, while 147 firms should pay Rs 17,576 crore by December 31, officials said.
"We will be compelled to stop operation from January 1 next year in the mines which fail to pay the penalty by December 31. The state government will submit a status report on the payment of penalty in the Supreme Court on January 1," state Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick said.
The Supreme Court had in August this year ordered lease holders of the mines to deposit their penalty for overproduction between 2000 and 2011 with the state government.
The mines need to pay a total of Rs 17,576 crore as compensation for extracting iron and manganese ore beyond the limits approved under environment clearance (EC) rules.
Of the total 147 mines, only 54 are operating in the state at present.
The leaseholders had moved the apex court praying that royalty, taxes and logistics cost borne by them during mining be excluded from the penalty. They had also sought that the penalty amount be paid in instalments.
The Supreme Court had rejected the plea of the leaseholders and instructed them to pay the said amount by December 31 or stop further operations, Mallick said.
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