‘Lokayukta did not seek any information or clarification from NMDC before scripting the report'

The public sector National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) has termed the indictment in the Karnataka Lokayukta's report on the corporation's alleged involvement in the mining mafia “totally incorrect and baseless.”

“Allegations of under invoicing in the report are surprising and agonising for us as they put our reputation as a ‘Navaratna' company at stake,” chairman and managing director Rana Som stated here on Monday. It was a “unilateral report” as the Lokayukta did not seek any information or clarification from NMDC before scripting it.

Addressing journalists in the wake of Lokayukta Santosh Hegde's report indicting the NMDC for “under invoicing exports to the tune of Rs. 2,222 crore during the 2006-07 to 2010 period and that it could have led to parking money abroad,” Mr. Som said the corporation had not exported even an ounce of iron ore from Donimalai (Bellary district) mines since November 2008.

It exported 1.05 million tonnes of iron ore from Donimalai in 2006-07 and 2007-08 (till November'08) at $52 per tonne for fines and $63 per tonne for lumps (2006-07) and $92 and $129 respectively in 2007-08 under long-term contracts, the price for which was fixed on a yearly basis by a committee.

“There is no scope for under-invoicing as the NMDC's exports are canalised through another government agency MMTC [Mineral and Metals Trading Corporation]. ” Reconciliation audit of the iron ore produced by the NMDC would be done at mines, transportation and shipment stages.

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