Report: Illegal Mining in Indian State Causes $3.6 Billion in Losses

Posted July 27th, 2011 at 3:10 pm (UTC-5)
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An anti-corruption panel in India has implicated several officials in the southern state of Karnataka for allegedly accepting bribes and granting illegal contracts for iron ore mining.

The report accuses the state's chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa and 787 other officials of causing up to $3.6 billion in lost revenue between 2006 and 2010, due to irregularities in the granting of mining licenses and the export of iron ore. More than 100 companies were implicated in the probe.

Yediyurappa, who is a member of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), says lawmakers will discuss the findings at a meeting on Thursday. The report also says his family members benefited from the scheme.

The panel is recommending that the lawmakers and officials be prosecuted for corruption.

Illegal mining is seen as a major problem across the country. Karnataka state, which is one of the country's top suppliers of iron ore, banned exports in July 2010 to curb illegal mining.

The mining scandal is the latest in a series of corruption scandals plaguing the Indian government.