Goa ore export: PAC hints probe into role of ports, Customs
October, 07th 2011
Goa Legislative Assembly-constituted Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on illegal mining is learnt to have recommended that the role of ports and Central Excise and Customs be probed in wake of the illegal ore exports from the coastal state.
According to sources, the report, which was handed over to Speaker of Legislative Assembly Pratapsingh Rane today during the session, said that the role of Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), port authorities at Panaji port and Customs also needs to be investigated in view of huge quantities of export that were permitted without documents, to prove the source and legality of the ore.
The state government fighting back to control the export of ore illegally from the state had made mandatory to get 'No Objection Certificate'(NOC) from the State Mines and Geology department before the consignment is dispatched abroad.
While Panaji Port had immediately implemented the government guidelines in November last year, the MPT had delayed in implementing it as late as January, 2011. The PAC report has said that of the total 54 million metric tonne of ore exported during financial year 2010-11, almost 5.5 million metric tonne was sent illegally by evading royalty.
Sources said the report has said that of the total ore exported almost 18-20 million metric tones has been illegally extracted without proper licences.
The PAC, chaired by Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar has also recommended that the administrative set up of Directorate of Mines and Geology needs to be strengthened immediately by appointing, on deputation, senior officers in the department to increase its strength and improve its functioning, they said.
The Committee, it is learnt, has established that lack of proper records in all probability is done to allow illegal mining go unchecked.Sources stated that a detailed external audit is required to find out the exact data about illegalities as the figure that were submitted to committee were modified time and again.
The report has already run into controversy before it was tabled after ruling party members on the committee refused to sign the document.Parrikar said he has already submitted the report to the Speaker and it is for him to decide on it.