Following the cancellation of its ‘illegal’ joint venture agreement with Sainik Mining and Allied Services Ltd (SMASL) by Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) on Monday, Union Minister State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikant Jena asked the State Government to scrap a similar pact with Vedanta and provide bauxite to it through OMC at a concessional rate, if necessary.
The State Government has admitted that the pact with Delhi-based SMASL was illegal by hastily cancelling the agreement signed in 2003, Jenan told mediapersons here.
Alleging that the State Government’s move is a panic reaction after the Central Vigilance Commission’s (CVC) order for a CBI probe into all coal block allocations, Jena said now a similar agreement by OMC for bauxite ore exploration from Niyamgiri hills for Vedanta group should be cancelled.
Stating that the agreement with Vedanta also flouted laws, Jena informed that he would request the Union Minister for Mines to include the pact under the purview of the CBI probe.
Jena said instead of offering captive mines, OMC should be allowed to extract bauxite ore from some other reserves where no environmental issues are involved and provide the raw material to Vedanta Aluminium Ltd for its alumina refinery at Lanjigarh.
If necessary, the OMC should also provide bauxite ore to Vedanta at a concessional rate, Jena said adding ‘no company should be allowed to have captive mines.’ A long-term agreement can be signed with Vedanta for supply of bauxite at a concessional rate,” Jena said.
In the worst case, if the private company is unable to run the refinery, the State Government can keep the plant under its control and operate through OMC, he said.