GoaChronicle.com brings you another shocking expose in which our investigations and study into the past four years’ Annual Reports of Sesa Goa indicate that it has been making donations to most political parties in Goa. Could this be the reason why political parties have not aggressively pursued the issues of illegal mining in the state and more importantly have other mining companies also indulged in political donations? GoaChronicle.com investigates…
In our recent expose on illegal mining in Goa ‘Mining Department Records: Estimated Rs 6100 Crore Illegal Mining since 2008’ we had exposed the extent of illegal mining in the Talukas of Sattari and Sanguem and even systematically provided details from government records on the extent of illegal mining done by various mining companies; either through going above the Environmental Clearance Quantity Capping permissible or whether it was clearances from the wildlife or forest government authorities at the state and Centre. Sesa Goa was one of the companies that featured in that report. Details of their illegal mining are mentioned below:
Sesa Goa in its mines, TC No 6/55 had not obtained its Environment Clearance as well from Wildlife Board yet it extracted in 7,45,562 tons in 2008-09, 6,65,976 tons in 2009-10 and 5,12,378 tons in 2010-2011 (up to January). If we put a figure to that extraction of iron ore it is another shocking amount of over Rs 769 crore.
In its mine in TC No 28/51 the company extracted 26,732 tons above the Environmental Clearance Quantity Capping which amounts to over Rs 10 crore.
Sesa Goa in its mine in TC No 69/51 extracted over 36, 46,214 tons of iron ore and it did not even have the Environmental Clearance under the Wildlife Protection Act. It is a shocking amount of Rs 1458 crore according to market estimates in the past three years.
Sesa Goa alone has as astonishing over 5.6 million tons of iron-ore extracted illegally amounting to over Rs 2237 crore worth (we compute the cost of iron-ore at Rs 4000 per ton, as we had taken in our expose).
Sesa Goa is not the only company to indulge in mining which in some cases has been illegal and while there are growing speculations of the political patronage towards illegal mining in the state, it is shocking to note that in the past four years’ Annual Reports, Sesa Goa has been donating money to the Bharatiya Janata Party, Goa Pradesh Congress Committee, Nationalist Congress Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Save Goa Front and Shiv Sena.
In its Annual Report 2008-2009, Page 63, under title ‘Donations and contributions include payment to the following political parties. Here is what we get to see.
In its Annual Report 2009-2010, Page 84, under title ‘Donations and contribution include payment to the following political parties’. Here is what we get to see.
There appears to be donations going to political parties every alternate year; while in 2007-08 Sesa Goa had given donations to political parties, in 2008-09 they had not done so. In 2009-10 they have again given donations to political parties.
Of the list of the political parties that have received political donations from Sesa Goa; BJP has received most of the donation amounting to Rs 1.13 crore in the past four years. Goa Pradesh Congress Committee has received a total of Rs 58 lacs, while NCP got Rs 5 lacs; MGP got Rs 7 lacs, Save Goa Front 5 lacs and Shiva Sena Rs 2 lacs.
All the above data has been procured through the Annual Reports of Sesa Goa that were available. GoaChronicle.com has also uploaded the relevant pages in which these details appear from those reports.
The question that it opens is straight, Sesa Goa which has come under scrutiny for illegal mining like many under mining companies in the state; it throws upon a Pandora box on the possibilities of political parties supporting mining companies on account and not raising an alarm to illegal mining in the state before.
It also opens door to the question on the report to be tabled by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which is headed by the Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar, whose party has been taking political donations from Sesa Goa and maybe others; those facts still have to come to light.
GPCC President also in his statement to the local media said that Congress party or its members had no role to play in the illegal mining in the state. That is strange considering that they too received political donations.
Similarly, NCP recently announced that the government must take strict action against companies indulging in illegal mining; they too have been on the receiving end of the political donations from the Sesa Group. Same is the case with smaller parties such as Save Goa Front, MGP and Shiv Sena.
Political parties have received a total sum of Rs 1.9 crore as donations from just one mining company, could not a question be asked if there were other companies also doing the same?