Royalty theft in MP's Bina Refinery

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Bhopal, Mar 14 (UNI) Madhya Pradesh's main opposition Congress today alleged in the Assembly that royalty on minor minerals used in construction of the Bharat-Oman Refinery at Sagar district's Bina was being evaded and later staged a walkout saying they were dissatisfied with the government reply.

Mines Minister Laxmikant Sharma admitted that 335 fake receipts of royalty payment were found during a raid on the premises of companies/contractors at the refinery site.

Dr Govind Singh and Mr Arif Aqueel (both Cong), who raised the issue through a call attention notice, claimed that fake receipts kept in four sacks were recovered during the raid while several companies were not searched. ''The Minister lacks courage to do so,'' he added.

Speaker Ishwardas Rohani disallowed the opposition members from mentioning alleged involvement of Chief Minister's father in the matter.

Dr Singh said that Bina Construction and Suppliers had been given monopoly right to supply sand, crushed stone and 'murrum', but the Minister denied it. Local unemployed youth, whose land was acquired for the refinery, had purchased tractor-trolleys to supply the minerals, but they were not being allowed.

In order to evade payment of royalty, Bina Construction got printed fake receipts of royalty payment and fake seals, he alleged.

Dr Singh said that information regarding sand supply from Sagar district was provided when the same was sought under Right to Information Act, while sand in huge quantity was being supplied from the Betwa river in Vidisha district also.

The Minister claimed that cases relating to seizing of fake receipts were pending in the Collector's court and nobody was being shielded. He admitted that sand mining on temporary licence was being carried out from Betwa.

Mining activity near Bina provided employment to many and earned royalty of more than Rs 56 lakh to the government in the past two years, Mr Sharma added.

UNI SP AC RL HT1640

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