Panaji: All mining operation in Goa should be nationalised, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) demanded on Tuesday, alleging that mining barons have stashed away crores of rupees in foreign bank accounts.

"It is the corporate greed of these mine owners which has led to a scam and the subsequent ban on mining which has now affected the lives of over 1 lakh workers. It is high time that mining in Goa is nationalised," CPI-M general secretary for Goa Christopher Fonseca said after the party unit in Goa passed a resolution to the effect.

Fonseca said that the state government should start a Goa Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) on the lines of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), which can then operate and regulate the iron ore mining sector in Goa, which generates over 50 million tonnes of iron ore annually.

"The chant (by the mining companies) that Goa's iron ore is low-grade and is only fit for export, is a mere eye-wash to protect the illegal exports and the illegal Swiss bank accounts," Fonseca said. He said that much of the Rs.35,000 crore, which has been pegged as the estimated scam by the Justice M.B. Shah Commission in his report, was stashed by mining companies in their accounts abroad.

"It is the private mining companies which for their capitalist greed have plundered Goa's mineral wealth by merely exporting it and in the process had generated black money and foreign bank accounts for themselves even while subverting the entire process of democracy including the media," he said.

The Supreme Court has banned mining in Goa, after the Shah commission last month exposed a Rs.35,000 crore mining scam in Goa, which it has linked to a nexus between mining companies, politicians and bureaucrats.



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