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Panel of secretaries to study Shah panel report on illegal mining in Odisha

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OST Bureau
New Delhi, Jan 2:

The Union cabinet has decided to refer the report of the Justice MB Shah Commission of Inquiry into the massive illegal mining in the state to the Committee of Secretaries for examination.mines

The decision, taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is being seen by observers as a move to buy time on taking action on the report since it indicts not just the Odisha government, but also the Union government.

In its final report submitted to the Union government, the Commission has called for a CBI inquiry into the illegal mining, besides recovery of the nearly Rs 60, 000 crores looted from the mining companies.

With general elections due in the next few months, the Shah Commission report could prove to be too hot a potato for the UPA government, already in the dock over a series of scams, observers say.