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'Mine-owners paid bribes before Ramesh's tenure'

September 03, 2012 16:54 IST
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Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday alleged that officials of Union Ministry of Environment and Forests took bribes from the state's mine-owners before Jairam Ramesh took over the ministry.

Talking to reporters, Parrikar said bribes for issuing environmental clearances for mines was rampant in the past. "Look at the ministers who were holding the portfolio earlier (before Ramesh)," he said, adding that he was not referring to either A Raja or T R Balu.

"There are many officials from MoEF who were involved ...They gave ECs without considering the basic requirements. All these officials would face probe," he said.

In a letter to the current Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan last month, Parrikar had made a similar allegation. At present, the clearances from MoEF allow fresh extraction of 47 million metric tonnes of ore yearly in Goa. The chief minister also said that his government's decision to cap the yearly extraction of ore at 45 MMT had factored in the transportation limitations of roads and barges.

In the last fiscal, 43 MMT of ore was extracted in the state, which is expected to come down to less than 30 MMT in 2012-13.

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