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SC directs Odisha Guv to collect fine with interest from mining companies

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Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Odisha Government to collect penalties with 12 percent interest from the defaulters who failed to pay the imposed fine for illegal mining.

The apex court also asked the Government to take stringent action including confiscation of properties of the mines leaseholders, who do not pay the imposed penalties. It also asked the State-run Industrial Development of Odisha Limited (IDCOL) to pay penalty with 12 per cent interest.

Worth mentioning here, the IDCOL paid the imposed penalty after 10 days of the set deadline. The apex court excused the delay and permitted to operate the mines subject to payment of 12 percent interest for 11 days.

However, the court did not allow the Essel Mining, which made delayed payments to operate the mines. Notably, Odisha has collected over Rs 10,000 crore as penalty from defaulting mining firms operating without necessary clearances against the demand of Rs 17,576 crore.

The Supreme Court had ordered to collect the imposed fine by December 31, 2017.

Of the 131 mining leaseholders who were issued notice by the Odisha Government, 73 mine owners deposited their fine by December 31, 2017. Out of them, 30 mines are defunct and remaining 43 are functional now. Seven mine owners have not paid the full compensation amounts.

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