Congress seeks probe into lease of 358 mines
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged the law was changed with retrospective effect to extend the leases for 50 yearsUpdated: Sep 10, 2019 01:27 IST
The Congress on Monday accused the government of not adopting the auction route in renewing the lease of 358 mines, alleging that the move had caused a revenue loss of ~4 lakh crore to the state exchequer.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged the law was changed with retrospective effect to extend the leases for 50 years, and claimed that the government had failed to reply to allegations that it was done in exchange for “large donations”.
Demanding a probe into the issue, he told a press conference that the Supreme Court had in April this year issued a notice to the government on a petition demanding an inquiry into the renewal of several leases for iron ore and other mines.
“The allegation made in the petition is that several mining leases have been renewed in exchange for large donations,” Khera said. “Five months have passed, and the government has failed to give an answer to the Supreme Court on the allegations raised in the petition,” he added. He said the Modi government had in January 2015 amended the Mines and Minerals Act, 1948, by bringing an ordinance.“The amendment allowed the government to extend the leases of existing mines without going through the auction route,” the Congress leader said. Khera asked the government to disclose the political donations received from the companies whose licenses had been renewed. “The period in question is not covered by the secrecy of the electoral bonds,” he claimed. Khera said the apex court has appointed a senior advocate as Amicus Curiae in the matter to help determine the truth behind these allegations.
First Published: Sep 10, 2019 01:27 IST