India: Congress charge on sale of bauxite at throwaway price

India: Congress charge on sale of bauxite at throwaway price

Congress today accused the Naveen Patnaik government of allowing Vedanta Aluminum Limited (VAL), which was erecting a refinery in Kalahandi district, to source bauxite ore at the “cheapest price”.

“Is it not a well-conspired design to defraud the state when you are letting the Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) follow double standard while selling its iron and chrome ore through tender route and bauxite on negotiation route?,” senior Congress leader Srikant Jena questioned in a letter addressed to the chief minister on this issue.

Jena today released copies of the letter at a press conference where he again alleged that the agreement between the state governemnt and VAL had “caused loss of more than Rs 50,000 to the exchequer.” The charge, however, had been earlier countered by the Steel and Mines Minister Padmanabha Behera.

Behera said the government had signed the agreement as per the price fixed by Indian Bureau of Mines.

The Congress leader said the government was +misleading+ the people by quoting false price of bauxite.

“While the market price of bauxite ore is Rs 2,350, we are selling per tonne of bauxte at Rs 178 to Vedanta,” he said.

“Why did not the state government go for global tender for selling of bauxite ore, which is a transparent process?,” Jena asked. © 2001-2006

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