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J B Patnaik meets President, PM on bauxite mining

Published by MAC on 2004-11-25

J B Patnaik meets President, PM on bauxite mining

India News

November 25 2004

New Delhi - Alleging large-scale corruption in awarding a bauxite-mining contract to a private company by Orissa Government, Congress leaders led by former Chief Minister J B Patnaik met President A P J Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter.

"The state Government awarded the contract to mine bauxite for 25 years to Vedanta Alumina Company (VAC) without announcing an international tender. Moreover, it will be sold at only about Rs 400 as against the market price of Rs 1,000, causing a loss of Rs 75,000 crore to the state," Patnaik told reporters here today.

He said Congress leaders from the state met Kalam yesterday and Singh today to apprise them of the "facts" and demand a CBI inquiry.

"They promised to look into the matter," he said.

The Orissa Government had awarded the contract last month to VAC, a subsidiary of Sterlite Industries, to set up a company with Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) to mine bauxite in the tribal-dominated Reighara district.

Patnaik said the Orissa High Court had recently passed a verdict scraping an agreement between the Government and Jindal Strips Limited to set up a stainless steel industry and said the Government had shown "undue favour" to the company.

"The Court had said the state would lose Rs 20,000 crore due to that deal. In the bauxite case, the loss will be not only in monetory terms as thousands of trees are being cut even before getting permission," he said.

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