Chief Minister Digambar Kamat asserted that his government was very clear about the mining industry in Goa and pointed out that it was only after he wrote to the Union Minister for Environment and Forests that the moratorium on issuing environmental clearances for new mines was announced.
“There is not much that we can do if environmental clearance is given and that is why I first took steps to stop issuance of this clearance,” he said.
While admitting that there are wrong doings, he however said his government has taken necessary steps to curb the illegalities.
“In the first place, due to our policies, it is now not possible for even one ton of ore to leave Goan ports without paying royalty,” he said revealing that even Mormugao Port Trust now does not allow any vessel to leave the port till royalty for the ore is paid.
He said that the royalty will contribute nearly Rs 700 crores to the State exchequer. “While earlier we used to get only around Rs 25 crores, now that ad valorem is made applicable, this year we should get around Rs 700 crores,” he said.