New Delhi : Tata Steel said on Tuesday it will contest the Rs 6,000 crore fine imposed on the company by Odisha government over alleged violation of mining norms in the state.

The company, which has captive iron ore and manganese mines and dolomite quarries in Odisha, was slapped a fine of about Rs 6,000 crore last week by the state government on the charges of “illegal and excess mining” at its iron ore mines. Acknowledging the receipt of notices, the company said in an e-mailed statement that “we are contesting both the number and the cause.”

“We are confident of resolving the issue with the government amicably”, it further said and added that “we reiterate our contention that we have always undertaken mining in Odisha and also in other states where we operate with strict conformity with the existing laws.”          Noting that recently Mines Ministry had brought out a notification defining irregularity in mining operations and illegal mining, the company also said that “this distinction is an important aspect of the whole issue of the demand put forth by the State Government.”             On Monday, the Odisha government had said that it has imposed whopping Rs 67,900 crore penalty on 103 mines so far for excess production of iron ore.

“We have imposed penalty on major mining companies. So far 103 mines have been asked to pay fine totalling Rs 67,900 crore for indulging in excess production of ore,” Odisha’s Steel and Mines Minister R K Singh had said in Bhubaneswar on Monday.

                                      — PTI

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