Mining association admits to illegal exports from Goa

November 21st, 2011 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Panaji, Nov 21 (IANS) An association of leading mine owners in Goa Monday admitted to illegal mining and exports of iron ore in Goa, but expressed concern over a “possible ban” on shipments of the mineral sent abroad.

In a written statement here, members of the Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA), which represents the bulk of the several thousand crore worth mining industry in Goa, has also said that the export boom to China had resulted in a spurt of illegal mining, thanks to “traders and fly-by-night” operators.

“The association doesn’t deny that there are certain illegalities in mining sector and in particular in the spectrum of exports in this state…However, a blanket ban on the industry can never be a solution since it will lead to a destabilisation of Goa’s economic apparatus,” said P.K. Mukherjee, managing director of Sesa Goa Limited.

He claimed that the mining industry in Goa contributed approximately 35 percent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Mining as an industry attracts Rs.17,000 crore in form of foreign exchange and brings Rs.6,000 crore in the form of direct revenues to the state and central governments.

Mukherjee called for a strict monitoring apparatus and systemic changes to ensure that those guilty of illegal mining be brought to book.

The central government-appointed Justice M.B. Shah Commission is expected to submit its report on illegal mining in the state in December.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused the government of a Rs.25,000 crore illegal mining scam, saying it was bigger than the Bellary mining scam in Karnataka.

Goa exported 54 million tons of iron ore in the last fiscal from its nearly 100 operational open cast iron ore mines.

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