Current Affairs

No brief on ‘Condonation of Delays’ for Govt’s HLC on Mining

While the Shah Commission report has brought out strong objectionable points on the issue of ‘condonation of delays’ on mining leases; wherein the panel clearly held the Minister for Mines responsible for this illegality.  Shockingly and also questionably, the Goa government’s High Level Committee headed by a retired high court judge in its brief does not have the mandate to investigate into the condonation of delays on mining leases issue, as revealed to by a government official working with the HLC.

The issue of condonation of delays on mining leases, coincidentally, is the issue that the now Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar raised vehemently on illegal mining when in the role of Leader of Opposition. It also featured prominently in the much-talked about Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report which was not tabled in the Goa Legislative Assembly.

This step of the government raises serious questions on the reasons behind the omission of this important illegality mentioned in the Shah Commission report in the brief to the High Level Committee. Most condonation of delays on mining leases started taking place from 2000 onwards. Governments at that time both Congress and BJP have supported the condonation of delays. So could that be the reason for the omission, since the SC report clearly talks of about illegal mining commencing from 2000 onwards and this points a finger at the Chief Minister who allegedly was also privy to the fact that this illegality was being committed; even though it was done by the Minister for Mines Digambar Kamat at that time, who later went on to become Chief Minister in the Congress regime.


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