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Friday, July 29, 2011

Supreme Court suspends all mining operations in Bellary

Supreme Court suspends all mining operations in Bellary

Bangalore:  Illegal mining in Karnataka has already cost BS Yeddyurappa of the BJP his job as Chief Minister. Today, the Supreme Court ordered the suspension of all mining operations in the Bellary district.

The court said it was shocked by the extent of the environmental damage in the area.  It wants the Karnataka government to take responsibility for restoring the ecological balance here by asking mining companies to pay for the clean-up required.

The court has also asked the government to explain how much iron-ore is required by industry, what percentage of this is met by Bellary, and how much steel produced in India is exported.

The court's questions are similar to those raised by the Karnataka Lokayukta, Santosh Hedge. In his report on illegal mining submitted to the state government this week, Mr Hegde said that politicians like Mr Yeddyurappa have colluded with mining companies to sanction violation of basic laws.  Mr Hegde listed a series of mining companies who illegally transport massive amounts of iron-ore to ports for export.

"The greed of a few is making everyone suffer," the Supreme Court judges observed today.

Bellary has 148 mines, of which 98 are located in forest areas and are at the center of the controversy over the environmental problems in the area.  At least 40 leases for mining in forests had been declared void a few months ago.  

The Supreme Court, after a series of Public Interest Litigation petitions (PILs), had asked a special committee to tour Bellary.  After its survey in March, the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) said that the Karnataka government had failed to check illegal mining and that there was a connivance between different politicians, officials and companies.  The committee warned that at this rate, mineral reserves in the region will be exhausted within 20 years.


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Hegde should apologise, says Karunakara Reddy
BANGALORE: Karnataka Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy on Friday denied any role in illegal mining in the state and sought an apology from the Lokayukta (ombudsman) for defaming him in his report on illegal mining in the state. 

"It is regrettable that ombudsman Justice N. Santosh Hegde recommended to the government to drop me from the cabinet for involvement in illegal mining as one of the directors of the family-run Oballapuram Mining Company (OMC) though I resigned from the post February 27, 2004," Karunakara told reporters here. 

The ombudsman's explosive final probe report Thursday indicted the powerful Reddy brothers, along with outgoing chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and others, for their criminal involvement in the mining scam and causing Rs.16,085 crore revenue loss to the exchequer from 2006 to 2010 in the form of royalty and taxes. 

Karunakara's younger siblings -- infrastructure development and tourism minister G. Janaradhana Reddy and lawmaker G. Somashekara Reddy -- from the mineral rich Bellary region in north Karnataka are directors of OMC, which operate a massive mining business in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh state and Karnataka. 

Referring to his name being mentioned in chapter eight of the report, Reddy senior said he had submitted documentary proof that he was no longer a director in OMC and had no role in the mining business in the affidavit to the Election Commission in March 2004 for contesting from the Bellary parliamentary constituency. 

"I have evidence to prove that I have no role in OMC. It is unfortunate my name has been dragged by the Lokayukta in the damning report without verifying documents or giving me an opportunity to defy," Reddy asserted. 

Karunakara, who was the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP)) Lok Sabha member from Bellary (2004-2008) constituency, currently represents Harpanahalli segment in the 13th state legislative assembly from Davanagere district adjacent to Bellary. 

Seeking a public apology from Hegde for causing damage to his fair name and reputation across the state and country, Karunakara said he would meet state Governor H.R. Bhardwaj later in the day with documentary evidence to prove his innocence. 

"I have been framed in the probe report without any basis. I have no role in OMC after 2004 and not involved in any mining activity leave alone illegal acts." 

Hegde, however, asked him to prove his innocence. 

"Let him (Karunakara) come to my office with documents to prove his innocence. I will also show him the documentary evidence our investigative team collected to demonstrate his role in the illegal mining activities of OMC," Hegde told reporters later. 

According to the operative part of the probe report, OMC was involved in multi-crore benami (illegal) transactions, under-invoicing and tax evasion by illegally mining in Bellary-Sandur-Hospet region though it did not have mining lease or permit.

Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde report: Janardhana & Karunakara Reddy hold tremendous influence in Bellary

BANGALORE: Karnataka LokayuktaSantosh Hegde on Thursday said the Reddy brothers, ministers Janardhana and Karunakara Reddy, held tremendous influence in Bellary, where a "mafia-like" network existed and illegal mining was like a "single-window corruption system". 

A day after he submitted his report on the mining scam, Hegde told newspersons that the Karnataka government's response to his reports and recommendations had been "very, very poor". 

"As compared to other states, the Lokayukta Act is much more powerful in Karnataka but all this (act in Karnataka) is recommendatory (in nature). It (the state government) never accepted or implemented," said the former Supreme Court judge. He said many of the suggestions made in his interim report on illegal mining, submitted in December 2008, to "straighten up the system" were not acted upon. 

In the latest "export-centric" report, Hegde said the Lokayukta has uncovered a "mafia-like" network inBellary and adjacent districts. "You compulsorily have to give 40-45% of your produce and they (big people) will take the entire responsibility of transportation to whichever destination you choose," he said, in an apparent reference to the Reddy brothers, and termed it as "single window corruption system". 

The Reddy brothers, who are mining magnates and have tremendous influence in mine-rich Bellary district, are among others who have been indicted by the Lokayukta. Hegde has mentioned in the report three to four companies based in different countries, including Singapore. 

Asked if these companies belonged to the Reddy brothers - ministers Janardhana andKarunakara Reddy - Santosh Hegde replied in the affirmative. The Lokayukta has recommended that the issues of "foreign exchange evasion" mentioned in the report be referred to the Enforcement Directorate for probe.
'Mafia-like' mining network in Bellary: Lokayukta
BANGALORE: KarnatakaLokayukta Santosh Hegde today said a 'mafia-like' network existed in Bellary where the Reddy brothers, who are ministers, have influence and illegal mining there was like a "single window corruption system". 

A day after he submitted his report on the mining scam which has led theBJP leadership to ask for Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's resignation, Hegde also said his government's track record towards his reports and recommendations was "very, very poor". 

"Very, very poor", Hegde, who is retiring on August two, told PTI when asked about the government response in general to his reports and recommendations. 

"As compared to other States, the Lokayukta Act is much more powerful in Karnataka but all this (act in Karnataka) is recommendatory (in nature). It (the state government) never accepted or implemented", Hegde, a formerSupreme Court Judge, said. 

He said many of his suggestions made in his interim report on illegal mining submitted in December 2008 to "straighten up the system" was not acted upon. 

In the latest "export-centric" report, Hegde said the Lokayukta has uncovered a "mafia-like thing" network in Bellary and adjacent districts. 

"You compulsorily have to give 40-45 per cent of your produce and they (big people) will take the entire responsibility of transportation to whichever destination you choose", he said, in an apaprent reference to Reddy brothers, and termed it as "single window corruption system". 

The Reddy brothers, who are mining magnates and have tremendous influence in mine-rich Bellary district, are among others who have been indicted by the Lokayukta. 

He said the suffering of ordinary people in Bellary because of large-scale illegal mining was "heart-rending". 

Hegde said in the report, there is a mention of certain three-four companies opened in different countries, including Singapore. 

Asked if these companies belonged to Reddy brothers-- Ministers Janardhan and Karunakara--Hegde said: "Yes, yes".


Karnataka-Yeddyurappa scam: Lokayukta Santosh Hegde's report indicts NMDC, Adani Enterprises, JSW Steel in illegal mining scandal

BANGALORE: Iron ore is a dark, dirty mineral usually found in inhospitable terrain, and under baking hot conditions. 

The process of mining, extracting and transporting it is said to be messy with harmful consequences for the environment. Just how dirty it can get can be seen from the pages ofKarnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde's report on the state's illegal mining. 

In a stinging indictment of politicians, corporates, bureaucrats and policemen, the 464-page report has laid bare the sordid nexus at the heart of the state's illegalmining scandal exposing the myriad ways in which businessmen and politicians colluded to abuse their wealth and power to enrich their coffers. 

Rules were flouted and government officials bribed, often indiscriminately; private companies and banks too participated in this loot, throwing to winds all norms of corporate governance and propriety. The scandal, the report adds, has made the state financially weaker and the loss in taxes and royalty is estimated at 16,085 crore. The damage to the environment is much bigger and may never be quantified. 

"Law of the land was seemed to have been suspended and oral whip was used to keep silent. Consequently, administration has allowed the loot of natural resources, in this case iron ore, which continued without any opposition. Huge bribes were paid. Mafia-type operations were the routine practices of the day," the report says. 

On Thursday, Karnataka Chief Minister BSYeddyurappa resigned, realising the futility of his desperate rearguard action to save his job. Others like Gali Janardhan Reddy, the overlord of Bellary, the iron ore mining hotspot, and a state cabinet minister, may soon follow. 

The surprising aspect of Hegde's report is the inclusion of the names of several corporates, who are alleged to have played an unsavoury role in the scam. The report accuses many of them of paying bribes, under-invoicing exports and dealing in fudged permits. 

NMDC, the public sector giant, is accused of under-invoicing sales, though to what purpose is not clear.Adani Enterprises, led by Gautam Adani, is accused of paying bribes and permitting illicit iron ore exports through the Belekere port. The Lokayukta has said the company should be blacklisted and barred from bidding for any government contract or tender. 

JSW Steel, which became the state's first major steel investor, is accused of not only paying bribes but also of colluding with G Janardhan Reddy to buy illegal ore. 

Janardhan Reddy criticised 

The JSW group has also been accused of paying excess money to the sons and son-in-law of Yeddyurappa for a land transaction in return for pushing the company's case with the centre for new licences. 


Full coverage

Supreme Court suspends all mining operations in Bellary

NDTV.com - ‎3 hours ago‎
Bangalore: Illegal mining in Karnataka has already cost BS Yeddyurappa of the BJP his job as Chief Minister. Today, the Supreme Court ordered the suspension of all mining operations in the Bellary district. The court said it was shocked by the extent ...

SC suspends mining in Karnataka's Bellary

indiablooms - ‎1 hour ago‎
New Delhi, July 29 (IBNS) The Supreme Court on Friday banned all mining activities in the controversial Bellary region ofKarnataka. The verdict came a day after the Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hedge's explosive report on illegal miningwas submitted ...

Hegde should apologise, says Karunakara Reddy

Economic Times - ‎4 hours ago‎
BANGALORE: Karnataka Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy on Friday denied any role in illegal mining in the state and sought an apology from the Lokayukta (ombudsman) for defaming him in his report on illegal mining in the state. ...

Karunakara Reddy trains gun on Hegde demands apology

Moneycontrol.com - ‎4 hours ago‎
Published on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 14:56 | Source : PTI Karnataka Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy today slammed Lokayukta Santosh Hegde for indicting him in his report on illegal mining, claiming that allegations against him was untrue and sought a ...

Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde report: Janardhana & Karunakara Reddy hold ...

Economic Times - ‎17 hours ago‎
BANGALORE: Karnataka LokayuktaSantosh Hegde on Thursday said the Reddy brothers, ministers Janardhana and Karunakara Reddy, held tremendous influence in Bellary, where a "mafia-like" network existed and illegal mining was like a "single-window ...

2 Reddys, friend Ramulu: 'tax fraud, threats, illegal mining'

Indian Express - ‎16 hours ago‎
The exit of Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa is set to turn the heat on mining magnates, the Reddy brothers, two of whom are Cabinet Ministers in the state. The Lokayukta report indicts the Reddy brothers on three specific counts: forcing miners ...

Reddys park Rs 215 crore in tax havens: Report

Times of India - ‎16 hours ago‎
The final report on illegal mining illustrates that Karnataka's powerful Bellary ministers, whose transactions were way beyond what is declared to the state authorities, are involved in money laundering and tax evasion to smuggle out their crores...

Juniormost Reddy threatened Lok Ayukta officials

Daily News & Analysis - ‎5 hours ago‎
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA Lawmaker and Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) president G Somashekara Reddy had threatened Lok Ayukta officials when they visited Bellary a year ago to investigate illegal mininggoings on in the ...

India Digest: After Fixing Yeddy, Lokayukta Slams Bellary's Mining 'Mafia'

Wall Street Journal (blog) - ‎11 hours ago‎
After Fixing Yeddy, Lokayukta Slams Bellary's Mining 'Mafia': Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde said a 'mafia-like' network existed in Bellary where the Reddy brothers, who are ministers, have influence and illegal mining there was like a "single ...

EXCLUSIVE EXTRACTS: The Karnataka mining report

Rediff - ‎Jul 28, 2011‎
The report on illegal mining in Karnataka, compiled by Lokayukta Santosh Hegde and his team, may spell the end of the first Bharatiya Janata Party government in south India. While the report is voluminous, here are a few details of what the Lokayukta ...

Report details Reddys' rule over 'Republic of Bellary'

The Hindu - ‎18 hours ago‎
The massive report of the Lokayukta on illegal mining makes copious references to the Reddy brothers, and how their writ ran in Bellary, leading to a complete "collapse of administration" in the district that he calls the "Republic of Bellary". ...

Yeddyurappa ouster: Bellary's Reddy brothers fall in line

Daily News & Analysis - ‎6 hours ago‎
All these days, the Reddy brothers fooled people by claiming they were not involved in any illegal mining activity inKarnataka and that their mining business is confined to Andhra Pradesh. Now, the Lok Ayukta report has exposed the Reddys completely ...

Elite people involved in Karnataka mining scam

Siliconindia.com - ‎1 hour ago‎
They are also the owner of Obulapuram Mining Company and Anantapur Mining Corporation which they never revealed. The Lokayukta's final report on illegal mining validates that tourism minister G Janardhana Reddy and his wife G Lakshmi Aruna hold 100 ...

Rs 215 cr: Amount Reddy bros have stashed abroad

Rediff - ‎1 hour ago‎
A part of the Lokayukta Santosh Hegde's voluminous report on illegal mining, which has rocked theKarnataka government, deals specifically on the role of the Reddy brothers of Bellary in the multi-crore scam. Vicky Nanjappa reports Lokayukta Santosh ...

Mining scam: Probe closed in on men who ordered probe

Times of India - ‎Jul 27, 2011‎
Chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and former CM HD Kumaraswamy, named in the final Lokayukta report on mining submitted to the state government on Wednesday, had first ordered the Lokayukta to probe illegal mining under Section 7 (2-A) of theKarnataka ...

After Yeddyurappa Reddy brothers may have to quit Cabinet

Moneycontrol.com - ‎Jul 28, 2011‎
Lokayukta Santosh Hegde has stated in his report that the Bellary brothers were engaged in mining in Bellary though they claimed to have no mining interests in Karnataka. The Obalapuram Mining Company (OMC) was mainly engaged in mining in Andhra ...

Running riot in Republic of Bellary

Times of India - ‎16 hours ago‎
BANGALORE: Tourism minister G Janardhana Reddy, as district minister of Bellary, manipulated power to his advantage in running his illegal mining business with the tacit support of the entire district administration, causing a huge loss to the state ...

Reddy brothers indicate their exit is imminent

NDTV.com - ‎Jul 28, 2011‎
Mr Yeddyurappa, Janardhana and Karunakara Reddy are among the politicians indicted for corruption andillegal mining in an explosive report presented yesterday by Santosh Hegde, the ombudsman or Lokayukta of Karnataka. Mr Hegde has said that the Reddys ...

Karunakara Reddy faults report, wants Lokayukta's apology

NetIndian - ‎6 hours ago‎
Karnataka Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy, the elder of the powerful Reddy Brothers, today demanded an apology from Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde for "wrongly" indicting him in the final report on illegal mining submitted to the State ...

'Mafia-like' mining network in Bellary: Lokayukta

Economic Times - ‎Jul 28, 2011‎
BANGALORE: KarnatakaLokayukta Santosh Hegde today said a 'mafia-like' network existed in Bellary where the Reddy brothers, who are ministers, have influence and illegal mining there was like a "single window corruption system". ...

Reddy homes fall silent

Times of India - ‎15 hours ago‎
BELLARY: A day after Lokayukta Justice Santosh N Hegde submitted his report on illegal mining indicting the Reddy brothers and their close confidant and health minister B Sriramulu, the residences of the powerful foursome of the ore rich district wore ...

CBI tightens noose on mining barons

India Today - Srinivasa Rao - ‎7 hours ago‎
A team of CBI officials, led by joint director VV Lakshmi Narayana, has almost completed its investigations into the alleged illegal mining in the controversial Obulapuram mines in collusion with the officials of the state mining and forest departments ...

The 'zero risk system' of illegal mining

Deccan Herald - ‎16 hours ago‎
While the Lokayukta's first report dealt with the origins of the illegal mining industry and the extent ofillegal mining in the Bellary Hospet Sandur (BHS) region, the final report clearly delineates the modus operandi of the ...

Yeddyurappa ouster: Tourism minister's account was node for all money trail

Daily News & Analysis - Chaithanya Swamy - ‎5 hours ago‎
All these days, Reddy has been vigorously denying allegations of his involvement in the illegal mining scam. With the submission of the Lok Ayukta report, however, the lies have been nailed. Reddy, along with his brothers Karunakara Reddy,...

Reddy brothers want apology for mining report mention

NDTV.com - ‎6 hours ago‎
... for a report on illegal mining that indicts them. The Reddys, mining barons from Bellary, are senior ministers inKarnataka. They've been accused of corruption and misusing their offices in the report prepared by Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde. ...

Reddys remains indoors in Bellary

IBNLive.com - ‎Jul 28, 2011‎
However, they remained indoors while the Lokayukta submitted report on illegal mining to the government on Wednesday. Since a week, the mining barons have not shown up in public, except a press conference attended by Health Minister B Sreeramulu, ...

EXCLUSIVE! An excellent job done: Justice Hegde

Rediff - ‎Jul 27, 2011‎
We are speaking about Justice N Santhosh Hegde, the Lokayukta of Karnataka, who will step down next month. Justice Hegde submitted one of the most controversial reports on Wednesday pertaining to illegal mining in Karnataka which indicted Chief ...

Bellary mine barons fear CBI probe

Deccan Chronicle - Shivakumar G. Malagi - ‎9 hours ago‎
Shaken by the Lokayukta report on illegal mining and its explosive contents, mining barons here are now worried that they could be heading for a CBI investigation on the lines of the 2G spectrum probe. ...

Bellary happy about Lokayukta report

Times of India - ‎Jul 27, 2011‎
The common man in ore-rich Bellary district, the epicentre of the Lokayukta's report on illegal mining, counted the losses - both to the exchequer and the environment. The men who allegedly engineered the entire scam, meanwhile, lay low on Wednesday. ...

Karunakara demands apology from Hegde

Hindustan Times - ‎2 hours ago‎
PTI Karnataka revenue minister G Karunakara Reddy on Friday slammed Lokayukta Santosh Hegde for indicting him in his report on illegal mining, claiming that allegations against him was untrue and sought a public apology from him. ...

Illegal mining: Links to JSW led to fall

Times of India - ‎16 hours ago‎
BANGALORE: The Lokayukta report on illegal mining in Karnataka which is set to dethrone chief minister BS Yeddyurappa has thrown the spotlight on JSW Steel, its vice-chairman and managing director Sajjan Jindal, and its operations in ore-rich ...

Karnataka Lokayukta report indicts 5 firms for illegal mining

NDTV.com - ‎21 hours ago‎
Three Jindal group companies, NMDC and Adani Enterprises have been mentioned in the report for alleged irregularities and alleged involvement in illegal mining in the state. As a result, stocks of JSW Steel fell by 5 per cent in the markets on Thursday ...

Karnataka-Yeddyurappa scam: Lokayukta Santosh Hegde's report indicts NMDC ...

Economic Times - ‎16 hours ago‎
The process of mining, extracting and transporting it is said to be messy with harmful consequences for the environment. Just how dirty it can get can be seen from the pages ofKarnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde's report on the state's illegal mining...

JSW Steel in the dock for getting illegal ore supply

Business Standard - ‎18 hours ago‎
JSW operates a 10 million tonnes per annum steel plant in the Bellary-Hospet region of Karnataka. In his final report onillegal mining in the state submitted yesterday, Hegde said JSW Steel and its suppliers caused a loss of close to Rs 325 crore to ...

Adani tanks on Lokayukta report; JSW, Sesa down

NDTV.com - ‎5 hours ago‎
Stocks of Adani Enterprises tanked on the Exchanges after the Lokayukta report compiled by Santosh Hegde and his team in Karnataka said large corporates are involved in illegal mining in Karnataka. Adani Enterprises closed 21 per cent lower....

JSW Steel says transactions of ore purchase were legally compliant

Reuters India - Ketan Bondre - ‎2 hours ago‎
The company said it will suitably respond to the concerned authorities after examining the report. Shares of some natural resources firms including JSW Steel fell on Friday on the news of Karnataka Lokayukta naming them in a report on illegal mining...

JSW Steel down 5 on bribe reports

Moneycontrol.com - ‎Jul 28, 2011‎
... through its associated companies such as South West Mining, to the Karnataka chief minister Yeddyurappa's children. According to media reports, "the state Lokayukta Santosh Hegde's final report on illegal mining reveals that JSW Steel had made ...

JSW Steel clarifies on Karnataka iron ore deals

India Infoline.com - ‎1 hour ago‎
The Mumbai-based steel major was reacting to media reports on Part II of the Karnataka Lokayukta report on the allegedillegal mining of iron ore and certain transactions linking the Company and it's group firms. JSW Steel has reportedly been accused ...

JSW shares fall on scam report

mydigitalfc.com - Jharna Mazumdar - ‎19 hours ago‎
In a phone interview, justice Santosh Hegde told Financial Chronicle, "Had we got another two months time to unearth further nexus in illegal mining, we would have arrived at a much higher loss to the exchequer. Practically almost all mining companies ...

Steel: Tough times ahead?(Pre-Open)

Equitymaster.com - ‎10 hours ago‎
This is due to export ban in Karnataka and increased focus of government agencies in enforcing mining and transportation regulations to curb illegal mining. Production at a number of mines has declined, as they are awaiting renewal of their mining ...

Adani Enterprises, NMDC, JSW Steel, Sesa Goa shares plunge on Lokayukta report

Economic Times - ‎18 minutes ago‎
As per media reports, Adani Enterprises has port facilities in Karnataka, which, the report alleges, were used for illegally exporting iron ore. The Lokayukta charged the company for forging permits to transport illegal iron ore. ...

Adani Enterprises, JSW Steel & NMDC slip on Lokayukta report

India Infoline.com - ‎5 hours ago‎
Shares of Adani Enterprises, JSW Steel, Sesa Goa and NMDC fell on Friday after reports that the Karnataka Lokayukta had named these companies for their alleged involvement in illegal mining of iron ore in the southern state. It may be recalled that the ...

JSW Steel, NMDC, Adani named in Lokayukta report – ET

Firstpost - ‎9 hours ago‎
On Thursday, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa resigned, after being implicated in the Lokayukta inquiry. PTI The report said several companies in the mining sector had paid bribes, under-invoiced exports and used fake permits. ...

JSW Says Karnataka Iron-Ore Dealings Legal

Wall Street Journal - Eric Yep - ‎1 hour ago‎
There is also the possibility of a donation of 100 million rupees paid by JSW Steel through a unit to a charity called Prerana Educational Trust to speed up a mining grant, the report said. Shares of JSW Steel closed down 5.5% at 774.20 rupees on the ...

JSW Steel - Clarification

Moneycontrol.com - ‎3 hours ago‎
With reference to the various reports / articles appearing in media on part II of the Report of the Karnataka Lokayukta on the alleged illegal purchase of Iron ore and certain transactions linking the Company and the Company's group Company, ...

Adani Enterprises, NMDC, JSW Steel shares tank on Karnataka Lokayukta report

Economic Times - ‎5 hours ago‎
Adani Enterprises is also accused of paying bribes and permitting illegal iron ore exports through the Belekere port inKarnataka, the report said. Another company, JSW Steel, is accused of not only paying bribes, but also of colluding with state ...

For JSW Steel, the Yeddyurappa scam in Karnataka can have a nasty ricochet

Daily News & Analysis - Promit Mukherjee - ‎10 hours ago‎
This was the compensation paid for modifying a memorandum of understanding between itself and the state-owned Mysore Minerals Ltd for mining iron ore from the Thimmappana Gudi mine in Bellary. The Lokayukta's report accuses the state of other ...

Yeddy's links to JSW may have led to his fall

NewsX - ‎12 hours ago‎
The Lokyukta report has not only claimed the BJP's first southern Chief Minister. It has opened a can of worms for big corporate houses as well. Jindal Steel Works has been found to have a direct link of paying bribes to a trust owned by Yeddyurappa's ...

Minesgate dents Karnataka's industry image

Times of India - ‎16 hours ago‎
Karnataka, which accounts for one-third of the country's iron ore production, has 900 tonnes of iron ore reserves. But recent happenings have dimmed the prospects of the steel industry. First, following a Supreme Court order to survey 99 miningleases ...

SMS Siemag to supply pickling line/tandem cold mill to JSW Steel

SteelOrbis (registration) - ‎Jul 28, 2011‎
German plantmaker SMS Siemag announced on July 26 that it has received an order from India's largest steelmaker JSW Steel (JSW) to supply a pickling line/tandem cold mill at its location in Toranagallu Vidyanagar (Bellary), India. ...

Construction for JSW Salboni plant to start this year

SteelGuru - ‎Jul 27, 2011‎
BL reported that JSW Steel Ltd is set to begin construction of its mammoth INR 35000 crore integrated steel plant at Salboni in West Bengal nearly four years after the project was proposed in 2007. According to Mr Biswadip Gupta CEO and joint MD of JSW ...

JSW nears Ispat debt refinance deal

SteelGuru - ‎Jul 27, 2011‎
JSW Steel which acquired Ispat Industries in December last year, hopes to close the debt refinancing deal for the latter in the next couple of weeks. Ispat, a loss making steel producing company earlier owned by Mr Pramod Mittal and family has a debt ...

JSW operating margins to drop marginally in FY12 - Mr Sajjan Jindal

SteelGuru - ‎Jul 27, 2011‎
Steel major JSW Steel cautioned its operating margins are expected to remain depressed, largely on account of higher prices of inputs and the company has taken definitive steps to cement its input security. Mr Sajjan Jindal chairman of JSW Steel told ...

JSW Steel Q1 PAT up 64 boosted by higher sales

Moneycontrol.com - ‎Jul 26, 2011‎
We're looking to acquire more mining assets," he said. On an outlook on steel prices, Jayant Acharya, director, commercial & marketing, JSW Steel, said that prices are expected to be stable for a month, but may go up from September as demand picks up.

India's JSW Steel progresses auto-grade steelmaking plans

Steel Business Briefing (subscription) - ‎Jul 27, 2011‎
Indian steelmaker JSW Steel is progressing with plans to produce automotive-grade sheet at its Vijayanagar works in the southern state of Karnataka. The firm has begun supplying samples of cold rolled coils to domestic automakers, ...

Indian steel consumption set to slow down: JSW Steel

Steel Business Briefing (subscription) - ‎Jul 27, 2011‎
Growth in India's real consumption of finished steel could slow down to 7-8% year-on-year during the April 2011-March 2012 fiscal year, compared to 10.6% the previous fiscal, according to JSW Steel. "There are clear signs of slowdown across all sectors ...

JSW Steel first quarter net surges 64%

istockAnalyst.com (press release) - John Satish KumarAbhishek Shanker - ‎Jul 27, 2011‎
July 27--JSW Steel Ltd, India's third largest steel maker, said first-quarter net profit rose 64% from a year earlier, beating analysts' estimates, aided by higher prices and increased production. The steel maker expects consumption of the metal, ...

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In the quarter ended June 2011, JSW Steel's consolidated net profit outbeat the market expectation with impressive 64% growth to Rs 485.16 crore on higher steel sales, realizations and impressive non operating performance. The topline grew by robust ...

India's JSW posts 65 percent rise in net profit for Q1 FY 2011-12

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On July 26, India's largest steelmaker JSW Steel (JSW) announced its financial results for the first quarter (ended June 30) of the financial year 2011-12. In the given period, JSW increased its net profit by 65 percent to INR 4.85 billion ($109 ...

Jindal status report sought

Calcutta Telegraph - ‎Jul 26, 2011‎
Calcutta, July 26: The Bengal government has sought a status report from the Jindals on their proposed steel plant at Salboni in West Midnapore. "We have asked them to submit a status report," state industries minister Partha Chatterjee said. ...

Illegal mining in India

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Illegal mining in India is widespread in various ore-rich states of India, and has generated controversy, which spans encroachment of forest areas, underpayment of government royalties, conflict with tribals regarding land-rights[citation needed]. The spill-over of the effects of illegal mining into problems such as Naxalism and the distortion of Indian democracy by mixed political and mining interests, has gained international attention.[1][2]

Contents

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[edit]Illegal iron ore mining in Karnataka

Rising global iron-ore prices driven by Chinese demand brought focus to the iron ore rich Bellary region of Karnataka. This iron ore is alleged to have been illegally mined after paying a minuscule royalty to the government. The major irregularities involve mines in Bellary, including those of Obulapuram Mining Company owned by G. Karunakara Reddy and G. Janardhana Reddy who are ministers in the Government of Karnataka.[3]

[edit]Interim Lokayukta report of December 2008

A report [4][5][6] published by the LokAyukta uncovered major violations and systemic corruption in mining in Bellary, including in the allowed geography, encroachment of forest land, massive underpayment of state mining royalties relative to the market price of iron ore and systematic starvation of government mining entities.[7][8][9] Justice N. Santosh Hegde resigned from the Lokayukta position on 23 June 2010 citing inability to be effective in his anti-corruption mandate owing to a non-cooperative Government of Karnataka [10][11][12] In January 2010 Mr Kharge questioned the governoment about transfer of Dileepkumar PCCF who refused to sign the report but Government brought S Nagaraja as PCCF who signed the report.

[edit]Collusion of officials and politicians in permitting illegal mining

The guidelines under the Central and the state enactments, call for a sketch of the mining area when a mining lease is applied for. It was found by the Lokayukta that sometimes the actual mining areas are not related to the sketch given with the applications without officials crosschecking them. Further mining applicants falsely claim a prohibited forest area as a revenue area. Finally the actual area of the mine is much bigger than the claimed area.[13] The Indian Bureau of Mines rules which control the type of mining, allow a maximum mining depth six metres to prevent environmental degradation. But miners have flouted this rule to over-extract iron-ore. For example, if they are allowed to take 100 metric tones, mines take 1,000 metric tonnes.[13] Officials at road check posts reportedly collude in a massive under-counting of lorries and trucks transporting the iron-ore from the Bellary mines to the ports.[14] News reports suggest that only 200 trucks are reported as against 4000 plying everyday.

[edit]Underpayment of royalties to state

There is a huge difference in the market price of the ore and the royalty specified by the government as well as faulty measurement mechanisms of amount of ore extracted.[15] It was found that 35 lakh (3.5 Million) tonnes of ore were illegally exported without paying a rupee of royalty to the exchequer, resulting in a loss of about Rs 1600 crores.[13] With ore prices of USD 100-120 per ton, 3.5 Million tonnes adds up to about 350-400 Million USD. There are proposals to link the royalties to the market price of iron-ore.[16] There is also a proposal by the ministry of Environment and Forests to levy a tax.[17]

[edit]Environmental damage

According to the Lok Ayukta Report,[13] there have been severe ecological changes due to illegal mining. Certain species of animals, like the sloth bear, that in the Bellary region have disappeared. Medicinal plants from the area do not grow anymore. The entire system of rain has changed in the district of Bellary. It is reported that the entire area surrounding the mining area is denuded of greenery and has no agricultural activity.

[edit]Belekeri port scandal

Related is the Belekeri port scam where illegally mined ore which had been seized was surreptitiously exported from the port. Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa admitted to an illegal iron-ore export racket at Belekeri Port involving 35 lakh metric tonnes of iron ore.[18][19]

[edit]Related road damage, accidents and loss of lives

The lack of effective regulation in the mining and transport of iron ore has adversely impacted road safety. Overloaded Trucks carrying ore have caused hundreds of fatal accidents on the roadways leading to ports such as Belekeri and damaged national highways in the region.[20][21][22]

[edit]Recommendation to ban iron-ore exports

The Indian government (steel ministry and law ministry) is considering a ban on exports of iron ore and limit mining only to captive iron and steel production units.[23][24][25] This has been opposed by the mining ministry citing massive loss of employment.[26][27]

[edit]Lokayukta Report of July 2011

The Lokayukta Report on illegal mining in Karnataka [28][29][30][31] details the methods in which miners, government officials and ministers colluded to defraud the government of mining revenues. The report details the complete breakdown of democratic governance in the bellary area [32][33] and uncovers the "zero risk system", a protection and extortion racket, masterminded by G. Janardhana Reddy[34][35]. The report describes the illegal money transfers to foreign companies and tax shelters by mining entities such as Obulapuram Mining Company,Associated Mining CompanyGLA Trading and GJR Holdings owned by the Reddy Brothers [36][37].

[edit]Mining permits in Andhra Pradesh

Controversy has arisen over mining permits issued to Rakshana Steels, linked to Anil Kumar, the son-in-law of the former chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy, over 137,000 Acres (554.5 km2) of land in Andhra Pradesh.[38][39] The A.P. Mining development corporation is said to have entered into a joint venture agreement in 2009 with Hyderabad-based Rakshana Steels for mining iron ore in Khammam and Warangaldistricts.[40]

[edit]Illegal mining in the Aravali Range

Illegal mining activity has been reported in the Aravali Range.[41]

[edit]Bauxite and coal mining in Orissa

Bauxite mining by Vedanta Resources in tribal areas of Orissa have led to conflicts in land rights.[42] Coal mining has run into trouble as well in Angul district over land issues.[43]

[edit]Illegal mining and stone crushing in Ganga river bed

Illegal mining in Ganga river riverbed for stones and sand for construction work has been a long problem in Haridwar district, Uttarakhand, where it touches the plains for the first time. This is despite the fact that quarrying has been banned in Kumbh Mela area zone covering 140 sq km area in Haridwar.[44] On June 14, Swami Nigamanada, a 34-year old monk who was fasting since February 19, 2011 against illegal mining and stone crushing along the Ganga near Haridwar, died at the Himalayan Hospital in Jollygrant in Dehradun, after alleged poisoning by stone crushing mafia. [45][44] His death put spotlight on the activity including intervention by Union Environment minister.[46][47]

[edit]Union government commission to probe illegal mining

The mining ministry of the union government has announced a special commission to investigate the various cases of illegal mining in India.[48][49] The union mining minister, B. K. Handique, announced that the investigation spanning Karnataka, Orissa and Jharkhand, will submit a report in 6 months.[50]

[edit]References

  1. ^ "Fire in the Hole: How India's economic rise turned an obscure communist revolt into a raging resource war."Foreign Policy Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  2. ^ Yardley, Jim (2010-08-18). "Despite Swirl of Scandals, Indian Mining Bosses Thrive"The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  3. ^ "Reddys have the last laugh, national mines regulator has both hands tied"Indian Express. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  4. ^ "Complete report of Lokayukta Santosh Hegde on Karnataka Mining (Dec 2008)". Indianleaks.in.
  5. ^ "PART I: Complete report of Lokayukta Santosh Hegde on Karnataka Mining (Dec 2008, PDF)". Indianleaks.in.
  6. ^ "REPORT ON ILLEGAL MINING ACTIVITIES IN BELLARY, HOSPET AND SANDUR REGION (U.V. Singh, Conservator of Forests)(Dec 2008)". Indianleaks.in.
  7. ^ "Santosh Hegde Interview: 'Mining Lease Is Used As James Bond's Gun'". Tehelka.
  8. ^ "Santosh Hegde Full Interview: 'Mining Lease Is Used As James Bond's Gun'". Tehelka.
  9. ^ "Illegal mining: Lokayukta slams Government". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  10. ^ "Hegde: 'I was helpless in protecting an honest officer'". SIFY.
  11. ^ "Lokayukta indicts BSY govt, quits"Deccan Herald. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  12. ^ "Palemar says he meant no disrespect to the Lokayukta". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2010-06-25.
  13. a b c d "Santosh Hegde Interview by Sekhar Gupta: 'They don't want the lokayukta to proceed because these mining permits were given during the tenures of JD-S, Congress and BJP'". Indian Express.
  14. ^ "Bellary to Belekeri: Checks don't balance". Deccan Chronicle.
  15. ^ "Mines of scandal: The Karnataka Lokayukta's report emphasises that illegal mining has caused severe loss to the State exchequer". Chennai, India: The Hindu.
  16. ^ "Mines of scandal: India mulls price-based royalty for iron ore - sources". Reuters. 2008-01-11.
  17. ^ "Ramesh calls for environmental levy from mining". Indian Express.
  18. ^ "Yeddyurappa admits iron ore racket". Indian Express.
  19. ^ "Cong 'backs' Hegde and alleges BJP-mafia nexus". India Today.
  20. ^ "Ore-laden trucks turn highways into 'accident zones'". The Deccan Herald.
  21. ^ "State of the environment report: Mining and Quarrying". Department of Ecology and Environment, Govt. of Karnataka.
  22. ^ "Puttur: Shiradi Ghat Woes – Concreting Proposal Languishing at Delhi". daijiworld.
  23. ^ "Law ministry suggests a ban on export of iron ore". Indian Express.
  24. ^ "India seeks ban on iron exports". Financial Times.
  25. ^ Roy, Rajesh (2010-07-02). "India Ministry Wants Ban on Iron Ore Exports". Wall Street Journal.
  26. ^ "'Banning ore export will retard growth'". Indian Express.
  27. ^ "Iron ore export ban will leave thousands jobless: Handique". The Hindu.
  28. ^ "Download Lokayukta report on illegal mining". Deccan Herald.
  29. ^ "Lokayukta report on illegal mining (PDF)". Deccan Herald.
  30. ^ "Karnataka Lokayukta report on illegal mining". The Hindu.
  31. ^ "Karnataka Lokayukta report on illegal mining (PDF)". The Hindu.
  32. ^ "Report uncovers govt-miners nexus". Deccan Herald.
  33. ^ "An ecosystem of fraud". The Hindu.
  34. ^ "Report details Reddys' rule over 'Republic of Bellary'". The Hindu.
  35. ^ "The 'zero risk system' of illegal mining". Deccan Herald.
  36. ^ "Reddy firm broke many laws". Deccan Herald.
  37. ^ "2 Reddys, friend Ramulu: 'tax fraud, threats, illegal mining'". Indian Express.
  38. ^ "Andhra Opposition demands probe into illegal mining by YSR kin". Indian Express.
  39. ^ "Now, YSR's son-in-law in mining row". Daily News and Analysis.
  40. ^ "Outrage over iron ore-rich land allotment issue". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2010-07-13.
  41. ^ "Illegal mining in Aravalis continues despite ban". Indian Express.
  42. ^ "India Sets Up New Panel on Bauxite Mining in Orissa". Business Week/Bloomberg.
  43. ^ "Eight Orissa coal mines face closure". SIFY.
  44. a b "Looting the Ganga shamelessly"The Tribune. June 16, 2011.
  45. ^ Swami Nigamananda, fasting to save Ganga, dies NDTV June 14, 2011.
  46. ^ "Exposing the illegal mining in Haridwar"NDTV. June 16, 2011.
  47. ^ "Jairam Ramesh tells Uttarakhand CM Nishank to stop illegal mining in Ganga"Economic Times. Jun 18, 2011.
  48. ^ "Commission to probe illegal mining"The Hindu.
  49. ^ "Centre sets up commission to probe illegal mining"Deccan Herald.
  50. ^ "Interim report on illegal mining in 6 months"Deccan Herald.

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