Shri Vivek H.P, IAS
Director of Mines & Geology,
Menezes Braganza Bldg.,
Panaji, Goa 403 001.
Subj: Urgent priority of Department of Mines & Geology
We are happy to note that you have taken over as the new Director of Mines & Geology, Government of Goa.
Our humble request is that the Department should concentrate on the still pending issue of recovery of proceeds from illegal mining. There are two sets of notices issued in this connection by your department which have not seen much progress:
- The Department issued several show cause notices for recovery of various sums as per the report of the team of Chartered Accounts in 2016. The total in this respect is Rs. 1,508.70 I am enclosing the relevant information sheet on this provided to us by your department under RTI as Exhibit 1. The table has its defects: for instance, in some instances, interest is stated but no principal. Serial No.40 is missing.
- The Department issued several show cause notices in 2017 for recovery of various sums under various heads as per the report of the CAG 2016. The total in this respect is 1,922.61 crores. The details are provided in the extract taken from the 2016 report which is Exhibit 2.
Thus, the total recovery under both sets of notices works out as under (if we keep out the duplication):
|Reason||Parties||Leases||Notices Issued||Amount (Rs. Crore)|
|Illegal mining (in excess of Mining Plan)||7||7||26-Sep-17||1,529.64|
|Illegal mining (in excess of EC Limit)||5||10||3-Oct-17||374.99|
|Short recovery of royalty||9||9||5-Oct-17||17.98|
|Chartered Accounts Report||2016||1508.70|
Please note that the first set of notices was issued in 2016, the second in 2017. These notices were produced before the Supreme Court during hearings of writ petition 711/2015 in November 2017. On 7.2.2018, when the Supreme Court delivered its judgement cancelling grant of second renewal to 88 mining leases by the Goa government, it issued a specific direction for expeditious recovery of these amounts for which show cause notices had been issued. Para 149 (9) of the said judgement states:
“The State of Goa will take all necessary steps to expedite recovery of the amounts said to be due from the mining lease holders pursuant to the show cause notices issued to them and pursuant to other reports available with the State of Goa including the report of Special Investigation Team and the team of Chartered Accountants.”
However, till date, the DMG has recovered only a tiny sum of Rs.3.99 crores!
As you know, the State of Goa is bankrupt and Government of Goa is regularly issuing security bonds for raising money for salaries. It goes without saying that if the sum of Rs.3500 crores is recovered, many of the financial problems facing the Government would find relief. Instead, the Goa government is getting ready to raid the funds of the District Mineral Foundations for removal of approximately Rs.60 crores. We have already pointed out that this is illegal. The move is also hardly justified when dues from mining companies amount to Rs.3500 crores and are awaiting recovery from 2016!
We feel that the resistance to ensure recovery is due to the fact that the former mining lease-holders still exercise gross influence over your department’s work and policy decisions. We hope this situation will change once you take charge.
Dr Claude Alvares
Encl: as above