Goa PAC estimates Rs 3500 crore worth of iron ore exported without paying royalty
Panaji: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Goa probing irregularities in iron ore mining has estimated that iron ore worth Rs 3,500 crore was exported without paying royalty to the state government over the last five years.
PAC led by Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar arrived at this figure after calculating the amount of ore extracted in the state and quantity of ore exported through the two ports in the state - Mormugao Port Trust and Panaji Port.
The records accessed by PAC revealed that 1.52 crore tones of iron ore was exported evading royalty to the state government in the last five years.
Parrikar said that the overall quantum of illegal mining would be much more as what we speak of is just the figure of iron ore exported without paying royalty.
"PAC is also probing the figures of iron ore extracted without environment clearances and also through illegal mines," he said adding that the aggregate of this would give the specific quantity of illegal iron ore mining in the state.
PAC would be tabling its report before the state legislative assembly on October 5, on the first day of the session.
Parrikar refused to divulge details of the PAC report stating that the document would be made public only after tabling it on the floor of the House.
PAC has also stumbled upon several environment clearances granted by Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) without mentioning survey number and TC (title concession) number on it.
Parrikar said that he had raised the issue in the state legislative assembly in which almost 50 percent of the environment clearances were without these numbers, which are crucial to point out the exact location of the mining lease.
"Many mines are outside the lease area and Goa government knows about it," the Leader of Opposition said adding of the total of 90 mining leases, 25 to 30 have major violations which warrant their closure while there are another 10 to 15 mines which have made minor violations.