Goa Mines dept fails to explain iron ore royalty loses to PAC

Panaji, Feb 26 (PTI) Goa Mines department has failed toexplain the royalty loss on almost one crore metric tones ofiron ore, which was exported between 2003-05.

Goa Legislative Assembly''s Public Accounts Committee(PAC) had questioned the mines department to reason the lossesbut the department floundered.

PAC chairman Manohar Parrikar said in absence of propermechanism, the mines department had let the revenue loses inthe form of royalty.

"The mines department has shown its inability to explainthe revenue loses," he said adding that Comptroller AuditorGeneral (CAG) in its report had mentioned about these loses.

The leader of opposition said that the legal mines in thestate are not regulated, which leads to these issues.

"Goa government has powers to formulate rules andregulations to control extraction and storage of minerals.

If powers are executed then legal mining can be regulated,"Parrikar added.

Goa has 100-odd working mines and it exports around 40million metric tones of ore annually.

PAC has asked State Transport Director Arun Desai tocheck unlicensed drivers of mining trucks.

"As per rough estimates, at least 25 per cent of thesedrivers don''t have licenses," he claimed.

The Committee has directed Director General of Police B SBassi to form a squad headed by Deputy Superintendent ofPolice (DySP) to curb the illegalities like overloading bythese trucks.

Both the departments have been asked to submit actiontaken report to PAC as soon as possible.

Parrikar said mining trucks have become a major bone ofcontention in rural Goa where people are on road, almost everyday, complaining about dust pollution and accidents.

"There are some road stretches where as much as 15,000truck trips are ferried on a single day," he added.

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