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AAP slams Goa government for not moving SC in mining case

Posted on Sep 02 2014 | IANS

Panaji, Sep 2 : The AAP in Goa has slammed the state government's decision against challenging a Bombay High Court verdict that allows renewal of more than two dozen leases of iron ore mines, citing timely payment of stamp duty by the mining companies.

By not challenging the Aug 13 order of the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court, the Goa government was losing as much as Rs.2850 crore in revenue, said Aam Aadmi Party in a statement.

"By accepting the high court order and renewing the leases of those parties who have paid stamp duty, the state will earn a paltry Rs.150 crores a year, whereas there is ample scope for the state to earn a whopping Rs.3000 crore annually if it challenged the order of the high court," AAP said.

The high court has directed the Goa government to renew 27 mining leases, renewal fees for which have been paid. But this order came a few months after a Supreme Court order which rendered as invalid all mining leases in Goa executed after the year 2007. This, AAP believes, is enough ground for the Goa government to challenge the HC order.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had told media after the high court verdict that government would not challenge the high court decision in the lease renewal case because the mining companies had "trusted" his government.

"I don't need to challenge the high court judgement as it clearly says that the lease deeds can be executed subject to the conditions laid down by the apex court," Parrikar had said.

By not challenging the high court order, the Goa government was benefiting the mining companies indicted in the Rs. 35,000 crore mining scam, says AAP

"It has been two and half years since the formation of the new government but no efforts are visible to recover the amounts looted from Illegal mining, instead the government seems to be inclined to ensure that the very same companies which looted the state can carry on with work as usual," AAP said in the statement.

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