National News

Cong slams govt for mine lease renewal without auction

New Delhi: The Congress has criticised the Centre for not taking the public sale route for renewing leases of 358 mines and failing to reply to the Supreme Courtroom’s discover for giving some lease extensions for 50 years.

Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera right here on Monday alleged the transfer had triggered round Rs four lakh crore income loss to the exchequer.

The Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Growth) Act, 1948 was modified by Prime Minister Narendra Modi authorities in 2015 and a number of other mining leases had been renewed and prolonged for 50 years with retrospective impact in trade for donations, Khera alleged.

He stated the Supreme Courtroom had in April issued discover to the federal government on a petition demanding an inquiry into the renewal of a number of leases for iron ore and different mines.

The apex court docket has appointed a senior advocate as amicus curiae to assist decide the reality behind these allegations, he stated.

“Five months have passed and the government has failed to answer to the Supreme Court notice,” Khera stated.

“The amendment allowed the government to extend leases of existing mines without taking the auction route,” he stated and added, the Congress had opposed the way by which the choose committee, which went into the Invoice to exchange the ordinance, was “deliberately” given small window and couldn’t seek the advice of states.

On the Congress stand on the amendments handed in 2015, Khera stated we didn’t concern a whip however our protest was very loud, very properly reported.

To a different query whether or not this needs to be reauctioned, Khera stated: “Yes, there should be a probe and the guilty be punished. Who is responsible for the loss to the exchequer? There should be auction.”

He additionally referred late Arun Jaitley’s robust pitch for public sale for allocation of sources.

Referring to the Comptroller and Auditor Basic (CAG), Khera stated it ought to probe renewal of lease “with the same enthusiasm” as displayed within the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime.

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