Narendra Modi govt to probe irregularities in mining under UPA

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta | priyadarshi siddhanta | New Delhi | Updated: May 30 2014, 14:00pm hrs
Iron ore miningMines minister Narendra Tomar says cases of alleged irregularities under UPA govt will be probed and accountability fixed on those responsible for the same.
Indicating that the NDA government could soon act upon the findings of the MB Shah Commission of Enquiry, union mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday said cases of alleged irregularities under the previous UPA government will be probed and accountability fixed on those responsible for the same.

Tomar said that Prime Minister Narendra Modis pronouncements on Sushasan (good governance) would be followed in toto and there is no scope of deviating from it. Whatever irregularity and corruption has happened, including under those during the UPA government, will be thoroughly probed, the minister said after assuming charge of the steel ministry.

Tomar has an uphill agenda in the mining sector. He is expected to streamline the mineral concession rules and more importantly ensure passing of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill 2012, which has been stuck in Parliament.

A top official of the mines ministry said a presentation has been prepared which, among other issues, seeks to highlight making mineral allocations more transparent. We will also tell him how delays in according green clearances is holding up major mining projects besides seeking revision of royalty rates, the official told The Indian Express.

The presentation, accessed by this newspaper, reveals that the mines ministry wants expeditious restructuring of the Indian Bureau of Mines. It will seek restoration in allocation of financial resources for the 12th Plan, which had been curtailed by the government.

In the steel sector too, he said, the reasons behind the delays in execution of major projects would be ascertained. We also need to introspect as to how much we are responsible for the delays in implementation of major projects, Tomar said before leaving for a meeting with the steel ministrys top officials.

The steel ministry, in its presentation, has suggested divesting of up to 49 per cent stake in state-run Steel Authority of India Limited and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited.