.........BHUBANESWAR: With only four weeks left to meet the deadline set by the Supreme Court for recovery of 100 percent compensation from mining companies for the excess minerals extracted, all eyes are on the apex court which is likely to address some issues raised by the miners on December 5.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has given an opportunity to 102 mining companies to air their grievances on matters relating to the penalty imposed by the court.
After rejection of their review petitions, a majority of the mining companies had moved the apex court seeking relief on three counts. Since they have already paid royalty and taxes, and also borne logistics cost, the amount should be deducted from the compensation they have been slapped with. Besides, cost of the minerals extracted but not sold should be excluded from the penalty amount, miners demanded.
Pointing out anomalies in the calculation of ore production, the petitioners had requested the court to give them an opportunity for reconciliation with the production figures of the State Government. While accepting the demands of the miners, the apex court had directed the CEC on November 22 to reconcile the production figures of mining companies with the Government figure and report the matter to it.
“We broadly raised three issues before the CEC which will submit its report to the Supreme Court. The decision of the apex court will be final,” said Prabodh Mohanty, secretary of the Eastern Zone Mining Association (EZMA).
In its August 2 order on illegal mining in the State, the Supreme Court had directed the State Government to recover 100 per cent cost of excess minerals (iron ore and manganese) extracted by the mining lease holders. Rejecting the CEC recommendation for recovery of 30 per cent of the production cost as compensation, the apex court had ruled that there cannot be compromise on the quantum of compensation to be recovered from the errant miners.
The CEC had worked out the compensation amount to be recovered from the defaulting mining lease holders at `17,567 crore.