Goa cabinet yet to take call on illegal mining report
By John Edwards, Panaji, Jan 31 : Four months have passed since the Justice Shah Commission report on illegal mining was tabled in Parliament, but the Goa cabinet is yet to decide whether or not to accept the report which indicts former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat for not acting against the massive illegalities in the mining sector among other high profile men.
"Shah Commission has been constituted by Central government and therefore the State government has no role in acceptance of the same. The report has not been put before the Central cabinet," Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the legislative assembly Thursday.
Besides many observations made, the Shah report had pointed out large quantity of differences between production (dispatch), transportation under permitted quantum and actual in the years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11.
It also observed that during the last five years, Directorate of Mines and Geology (DMG) had not conducted inspection of the mining leases, which was 'deliberate omission which resulted in illegal mining and (caused) huge loss to state exchequer'.
The Commission had also recommended action against the suspended DMG director Arvind Lolienkar and subordinate officers for their misconduct and dereliction of duties under Conduct Rules.
To a question about the revenue collection, Parrikar said the State government had collected Rs 292.25 crore as revenue from mined ore export during 2009-10, which rose to Rs 983.73 crore during 2010-11 and Rs 952.97 crore for the year 2011-12.
Supreme Court is currently hearing a PIL filed by a green NGO Goa Foundation alleging that illegal mining in Goa is underway since year 2000. The Supreme Court banned mining after the judiciary commission exposed the Rs35,000-crore illegal mining scam.