Rs 471 crore collected under Goa mining fund unused

Rs 471 crore collected under Goa mining fund unused

File picture of Goa Chief minister Pramod Sawant. Photo credit: PTI

More than Rs 470 crore collected under the Goa Iron Ore Permanent Fund (GIOPF) since the last four years is lying unutilised, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told the Assembly on Tuesday.

The sum is lying unused as the matter related to its utilisation is sub-judice, he said, responding to a question by Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco (Congress).

As per the reply tabled on the floor of the House by Sawant, who also handles the mines and geology portfolio, from April 21, 2014, to April 1, 2018 - that is before the closure of the mining activity - Rs 396 crore was collected under GIOPF from fresh iron ore extracted in the state.

During the same period, Rs 75 crore more was collected under the fund (taking total to Rs 471) as proceeds from the iron ore stock which was e-auctioned, the chief minister said.

As per a Supreme Court order, 10 percent of the sale of proceed of iron ore extracted in Goa and sold by the lessee must be appropriated towards the GIOPF for the purpose of "sustainable development and inter-generational equity".

"No audit was carried out for GIOPF accounts during the financial years 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19," Sawant said.

Money from the fund is generally used for the welfare of the people living in the mining belt.