In a big jolt to Odisha Government, the Orissa High Court has stayed the Cabinet decision, which approved public auction of all mines except coal. The court has fixed the next hearing of the matter for February 4 and asked the government not to undertake any activities on auction of mines.
Earlier, Odisha became the first state in the country to announce open bidding or public auction of all mineral products in the state except coal. The government had decided to separate the auctions of captive and non-captive mines. The decision won’t affect OMC and nationalised mining companies.
It was also decided that all mines that were awaiting second or subsequent renewals, would be allocated only through public auction route. However, the mines awaiting first renewal, would be exempted.
The state government expected to earn over Rs 10,000 crore per annum through this public auction route. At that time, it was very much clear that the decision would be stayed when the miners approach the court.
Meanwhile, Odisha has decided to oppose the promulgation of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation Amendment) Ordinance brought by the centre, saying there are some grey areas for which the government has sought the opinion of the Law department. The state government is upset about the provision that negates its plan to auction mines till 2020. Centre has convened a meeting of all Mines Ministers of mineral-bearing states on January 19.