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Goa mining scam: PAC blames officials, politicians nexus


Panaji: Goa’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) looking into the Rs.3,500 crore illegal mining industry is believed to have zeroed in on the nexus between politicians, bureaucrats, police and forest department officials, sources said Wednesday.

The report, to be tabled in the two-day monsoon session beginning Wednesday, has, however, not named a single politician except Nationalist Congress Party leader Jitendra Deshprabhu, recently imprisoned in an illegal mining case, sources said.

“The Goa government and politicians in power are squarely responsible for such environmental degradation being presently undertaken by illegal mining operations,” said an official source on condition of anonymity.

The PAC report could call for an external audit to find out the quantum of illegal ore mined and investigation by an independent agency.

“How much involvement of various politicians does exist, what is the illegality quantum, can only be brought to light if a criminal investigation is conducted,” a source said.

PAC chief and opposition leader Manohar Parrikar’s report indicated that a “reasonable doubt prevails that influential politicians including ministers… are deeply involved”, he said.

The report is believed to have severely indicted top Indian Administrative Service officials.

Besides, several top mining firms including Sesa Goa, Chowgule and Group, Sociedade Timblo, among nearly 25 others, are also accused, sources said.

Out of the 54.45 million tonnes of iron ore exported out of Goa last fiscal, the Goa Mineral Ore Exporters’ Association, with nearly 30 odd members, exports about 47.23 million metric tonnes annually, while the rest of 7.22 million tonnes is dubiously sourced.