Mining leases granted without public auction: Bhushan

Mining leases granted without public auction: Bhushan

“Over 250 such mining leases were granted in the State without any transparency or public auction,” he said at a programme organised by National Committee for the Protection of Natural Resources here on Sunday.

The lawyer, who is fighting the illegal mining case in the Supreme Court, said that mineral resources were being exploited at a rate which will see everything exhausted in 20 years.

“The mining mafia has made the State government change its policy at the expense of public exchequer, ecology, common man and equity,” he said.

Referring to the ‘mining mafia’ of Reddy brothers in Karnataka, he alleged that mining leases of strategic minerals in forests and critical areas have been given to their units and other private mining firms in the last nine years in violation of government policy. More than two thirds of iron ore mined in Karnataka is exported to China and other countries, he alleged.

Bhushan remarked that the biggest threat to democracy today was “corporate mafia” brought about by liberalisation, leading to public resources being entrusted to private enterprises that are not transparent and are solely interested in profits. “In the guise of liberalisation, a new kind of business has been created called ‘privatisation’, where public resources whether it is forest, water, spectrum or wealth of public sector organisations are entrusted to private enterprises. There is no transparency, value of assets is unlimited and profits as high as 90 per cent,” he said.

This, Bhushan said, has led to coming up of “corporate mafia”, the biggest threat to democracy today.

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