Illegal mining may lead to closure of legal mines: Goa PAC report

The report says that illegal mining has resulted in strain on infrastructure, ecology, agriculture and threatens to destroy the water security of the state if it is not controlled immediately

Panaji: Goa assembly's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is understood to have expressed fears that if illegal mining in the state is not curbed, even the legal mines here will face closure, reports PTI.

The PAC report, which will be tabled in the House during the assembly session that begins from today, has reportedly indicted the state government for allegedly encouraging illegal mining.

It is learnt that the report says that illegal mining has resulted in strain on infrastructure, ecology, agriculture and threatens to destroy the water security of the state if it is not controlled immediately.

"During the series of meetings, the PAC observed that the overburden of illegal mining is damaging the prospects of legal mining," the source stated.

The PAC report, which has relied on the data provided by Directorate of Mines and Geology (DOMG) and the Forest Department, has calculated that annually around 20 million tonnes of ore is exported from the state.

"The total value of the ore that is mined in violation of the law on mining and environment exceeds Rs4,000 crore annually," highly placed sources stated.

It is learnt that the report has directly indicted politicians and officers from the Mines as well as the Forest Department, including their secretaries and director of Mines Department.

According to sources, the report says that details like involvement of politicians, quantum of illegalities and financial transactions, etc. can only be known after a thorough investigation.

The report is understood to have recommended that an independent agency like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or Lokayukta be asked to probe into illegal mining nexus being carried out in connivance of local politicians, bureaucrats of the Mines and Forest departments and police force.

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ONGC ready for over Rs11,000 share sale, govt to decide timing

The follow-on public offer, through which the government plans to sell 5% or 427.77 million shares, was to open on 20th September, but has been put off days ahead of its opening. No new dates have been communicated

New Delhi: State-owned explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on Tuesday said it is ready for the Rs11,500 crore share sale but the call on its timing will have to be taken by the government, reports PTI.

"The government of India (which plans to sell 5% of its stake in ONGC through the follow-on public offer) has to take a call. We are prepared,” ONGC chairman and managing director Sudhir Vasudeva told reporters here.

The government had on 15th September postponed the FPO owing to market uncertainties.

“The market has been behaving erratically,” he said, “The government has to take a call (on the FPO).”

The follow-on public offer (FPO) was to open on 20th September, but has been put off days ahead of its opening. No new dates have been communicated.

The government plans to sell 5%, or 427.77 million shares, through the offer.

After the FPO, the government’s stake in ONGC will come down to 69.14% from the current 74.14%.

The FPO was originally planned in 2010-11, but the launch was later deferred to 5th April, as the company did not have an adequate number of independent directors on its board to meet market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) listing norms.

It was then rescheduled for 5th July, but was again deferred due to adverse market conditions.

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NABARD funding for rural infra crosses Rs1 lakh crore mark

The disbursal includes loans to 28 states and the union territory of Puducherry as well as to the National Rural Roads Development Agency to support the rural roads component of Bharat Nirman

Mumbai: Loans disbursed by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to state governments crossed the Rs1,00,000 crore mark and stood at Rs1,02,844 crore as on 30th September, reports PTI.

NABARD has crossed a disbursement of Rs1 lakh crore for the creation of rural infrastructure in the country from out of its Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), a statement issued here said.

The disbursal includes loans to 28 states and the union territory of Puducherry as well as to the National Rural Roads Development Agency to support the rural roads component of Bharat Nirman, the release said.

Some of the states which availed themselves of maximum financial support from NABARD for rural infrastructure are Andhra Pradesh (Rs9,711 crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs7,984 crore), Gujarat (Rs7,324 crore), Tamil Nadu (Rs6,523 crore), Madhya Pradesh (Rs5,464 crore), Maharashtra (Rs5,493 crore), Rajasthan (Rs5,406 crore), West Bengal (Rs4,694 crore) and Karnataka (Rs4,406 crore).

Funds of Rs1.03 lakh crore were disbursed to states against 4.48 lakh projects worth Rs1.28 lakh sanctioned to them over 31 broad activities as per the infrastructure requirements in the rural and agricultural sectors.

Maximum funds were utilised for irrigation and agriculture (40%), followed by rural roads (33%), rural bridges (12%), rural drinking water supply (9%) and social sector (6%).

The loans are given to state governments for creating infrastructure not only to boost demand for agricultural credit but also to enhance the productivity of credit.

RIDF was set up with NABARD by the government of India in 1995-96 with an initial corpus of Rs2,000 crore. The funds were sourced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from scheduled commercial banks in proportion to the extent of their shortfall in agriculture lending.

For the current year (under RIDF XVII), an amount of Rs2,000 crore has been earmarked specifically for creation of warehousing infrastructure in different states.

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