With the illegal mining issue in the spotlight, the Centre on Saturday said it is planning to set up an authority to check the menace.
A Group of Ministers discussed at a meeting in Delhi on Friday outlines of the proposed Mineral Regulation Authority and the powers to be vested with it to deal with illegal mining, Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said in Bangalore.
"We have discussed it. There are lot of issues to be looked into," he told reporters, refusing to commit himself to a timeframe to introduce a bill in Parliament for establishing the authority.
When set up the authority would have powers to regulate mining, granting of mining leases and filing of cases against violators, as a deterrent against illegal mining of minerals.
Moily slammed the Karnataka government for not checking illegal mining and illegal exports of minerals, saying "it is unfortunate though the Centre has given all the powers to states, it has not been exercised".
"They have failed to prevent illegal mining and regulate mining activity," he said.
Meanwhile, stepping up its attack, Congress demanded resignation of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa for his government's "failure" to check illegal mining and illegal export of iron ore in the state.