Goa mining scam worth Rs. 35,000 crore: Shah Commission

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Daredevil, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Goa mining scam worth Rs. 34,935 crore: Justice Shah Commission

    The justice MB Shah Commission report, which was tabled in Parliament on Friday, says that Goa's iron ore mining scam is worth nearly Rs. 35,000 crore.

    The voluminous report holds the state government and central government agencies as parties to the scam along with powerful mining operators in Goa, who according to Justice Shah, plundered natural resource and facilitated an "unrestricted, unchecked and unregulated export of iron ore to China", which made the exporters of ore "richer and richer".

    Shah's report indicts former chief minister Digambar Kamat, who was minister for mines for over a decade from 2000 to 2012.

    "By taking the average export cost at $60 per metric tonne of iron ore from 2006 to 2011 with a conversion rate of Rs. 47 per US dollar, the total loss to the state comes out as (127257400.00 x 60 x 47) Rs.34935,928800000," Shah has said, pinning down the majority of the scam in the five years, when an energy-hungry China aggressively imported ore from Goa.

    The former judge has now said that the mining firms which have been allowed to illegally extract and export ore should be fined "exemplary" for the financial loss, loss to the environment, ecology, and punished for the wrongdoing.

    Shah in his report, has also indicted the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), the union ministry for environment and forests (MoEF), state directorate of mines, the state forest department as well as the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) for the illegal mining, which the report says was spread across over 500 hectares of area, several hundred acres of which was forest as well as government-owned land.

    "Large scale mining, overexploitation of minerals would result in changes in the natural eco-system of the area. This will affect the tourism industry of the state. The impact of mining including illegal mining has already been felt. The IBM and MoEF have increased production without a proper justification and purely on commercial grounds, ignoring the impact of mining on protected areas, environment and eco-system," the report states in its critique.

    The report, which was tabled in parliament Friday, also says that forest laws were completely flouted by the mining companies and even mines which were illegally functioning in forest areas were not stopped by the government authorities.

    "All mining activities should be stopped with immediate effect, including transportation for all-mining leases where there is no approval or clearance of the Standing Committee of NBWL and are falling within 10 km of eco-sensitive buffer zone," Shah has recommended.

    All major mining companies which includes Sesa Goa and companies run by the influential mining families in Goa namely the Timblos, Salgaonkar Chowgules, etc have been hauled up by the Shah Commission for illegalities in the mining sector.

    The illegalities range from over exploitation of ore, environment violations, encroachment, etc.
     
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  3. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    I had earlier read somewhere that karnataka+goa coal mine scam run into something 70-80k crore!
     
  4. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Illegal mining: Goa to file FIRs against ex-CMs

    Press Trust of India


    Panaji: A day after Shah Commission's report on Goa's illegal mining was tabled in Parliament, the state government has decided to file FIRs against two former chief ministers and scores of bureaucrats for their alleged involvement in the mining scam.

    State Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters on Saturday that FIRs would be filed against former chief ministers Pratap Singh Rane and Digambar Kamat, the then Directors of Mines, then Secretaries of Mines, officials of union Ministry of Environment and Forest and that of Indian Bureau of Mines, within 15 days.

    "The FIRs would be based on the findings of the Shah Commission which has pegged illegal mining in Goa to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore," he said, adding that all those indicted by the Commission would be named in the FIR.

    The state government will soon decide on whether to file FIR with the Crime Branch police or Anti Corruption Bureau of the state Vigilance Department, he said, adding officials from MoEF and IBM, who gave environment clearances to mines without verifying facts, would also be probed during investigation.
    Responding to a query as to how the state could file FIRs against officials working at the Centre, he said, "The offence has taken place in Goa and is related to Goa, so we have all the powers to prosecute the guilty in the state".

    The Shah Commission which probed the mining scam in its report has blamed the state chief ministers and mines ministers between 1994 and 2010 for the alleged illegalities.
     
  5. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    If in a small state like Goa the mining scam could be nearly Rs. 35,000 Crore ( that too based on 1US$= Rs.47), then the figure of the Coalgate is true, no doubt about that.

    On the topic of Goa, the ex CM kept the mining portfolio with himself for over a decade even when he flitted from the BJP to the Congress. He clearly knew which was the most lucrative portfolio.
     
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  6. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Goa government orders shutdown of all 90 iron ore mines till further notice

    Panaji: The Goa government has ordered that all 90 iron ore mines operating in the state be shut down till further notice. The state government says the decision has been taken as per the recommendations of the Shah Commission report, which was tabled in Parliament three days ago.

    The report says that the state government and central government agencies as parties to the scam, along with powerful mining operators in Goa, plundered natural resource and facilitated an "unrestricted, unchecked and unregulated export of iron ore to China", which made the exporters of ore "richer and richer". The Commission said that the violations are mainly post year 2000.

    The state government says that all the mines will be shut down till the status of each is checked.

    The government is also set to initiate criminal proceedings against two former Congress Chief Ministers for their alleged involvement in illegal mining. Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had told reporters in Panjim on Saturday that in the next 15 days, FIRs will be filed against Digambar Kamat and Pratapsinh Rane, both former Chief Ministers, and a number of bureaucrats, and officials from the Indian Bureau of Mines and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
    "The FIRs would be based on the findings of the Shah Commission which has pegged illegal mining in Goa to the tune of Rs. 35,000 crore," said Mr. Parrikar. Pratapsinh Rane was the Chief Minister from June 2005 to June 2007, while Digambar Kamat was the Chief Minister between 2007 and 2012. In fact, Digambar Kamat held the mining portfolio for over nine years.

    The Shah Commission report, that probed illegal mining in Goa, was tabled in Parliament on Friday. Here are a few excerpted observations from the report.

    It is amply clear that the Honorable Minister of Mines and Honorable Chief Minister were well aware about non-compliance of conditions and other illegalities/irregularities happening in the mining sector.

    But no inspection has been carried out resulted into fear-free environment which has caused loss to the ecology, environment, agricultural, ground water, natural streams, ponds, rivers, biodiversity, etc.

    The spirit of Environmental Clearance system has been substantially wounded, resulted into amass of wealth by certain individuals/companies at the cost of environmental sustainability and ecosystem.

    Inaction, delayed action and mild actions have had created fearless atmosphere, abuse of law and regulations in the Goa State. This has paved ways for large scale irregularities, illegalities and corruption.

    Unwarranted "legal opinion" has been sought even on clear provisions of law in the Acts. More often wrong information or incomplete information was submitted while obtaining legal opinion with an ultimate aim to facilitate or continue mining operations. In all, the legal opinions, it is observed, have gone in favour of lessees and not otherwise.

    The regulatory mechanism has been totally collapsed and irregularities due to maladministration have risen to its peak. In the process, the sole loser is the environment, eco-system of the Western Ghats, general public and treasury of Goa State.

    In fact, even the Ministry of Environment and Forests has come for criticism from the Shah Commission. The report says, "There is total lack of co-ordination among the three wings of MoEF i.e. Environmental Clearance Section, Forest Conservation Section and Wildlife Section. This has resulted into illegalities and environmental, ecological damages in Goa."

    The report says that the National Board of Wildlife (NBWL), under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, had taken the decision to notify the areas within 10 kilometres from the boundaries of national parks and sanctuaries and the wild-life corridors as eco- sensitive areas. Though the state government was informed of the same, till date it has not taken any steps in that direction, instead has been active in sanctioning mining here. The Shah Commission recommends that all the mining activities be stopped with immediate effect including transportation for all mining leases where there is no approval or clearance of the Standing Committee of NBWL and fall within 10 kilometres of eco-sensitive buffer zone.
     
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