Vedanta, Fomento, Hede refuse to contribute for ‘future' generations

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 15 December 2015 00:30 IST

Goa’s five leading mining companies, including Vedanta and Fomento, do not intend to contribute to the permanent fund meant for the future generations of the state.

Goa Foundation has strongly objected to this attitude of the mining companies.

According to GF press note, the five mining companies are Vedanta, Fomento, G N Agarwal,

Geetabai Parulekar and Prafull Hede.

They have challenged the Supreme Court order of creating the Goa Iron Ore Permanent Fund by contributing 10 per cent of the sale value of ore extracted and sold by them.

The case of Goa Foundation challenging renewal of 88 mining leases will come up for hearing today before the Supreme Court, in which these intervention applications have been filed by the mining companies.

The basic contention of all the five companies is that a separate Permanent Fund is not required when the Mines Act amended this year makes a provision for District Mineral Foundation in each district.

The argument is that depositing money from its sale in the District Mineral Fund and Permanent Fund is ‘double taxation.’

Some of these companies have also argued that the Permanent Fund would make mining itself unviable with ore prices crashing in the international market.

FUNDS FOR PRESENT & FUTURE

While opposing these arguments, Goa Foundation states that both the funds are different in nature.

The District Mineral Fund would provide for the expenditures related to rehabilitation of environment caused by mining activity.

 

It would also include harm to the communities of the affected villages in the mining areas.  

This fund is meant for spending and to protect the ‘present’ – environment and generation.

Contrary to this, Permanent Fund is meant for the ‘future’, which will be saved and not spent immediately.

The principle activity of the Fund would be protection against inflation and investment in activities that would create durable assets in the long term, etc.

Fund managers must ensure intelligent investments to ensure economic yields, in order to maintain the original value of the fund, states Foundation.

VEDANTA PROFIT RS 12,000 CRORE

According to the Goa Foundation, Vedanta should be the last company to file such application since it has made a profit, after paying taxes, to the tune of Rs. 12,346 crore in last eight years.

If these fund provisions existed, the company could shell out only 20 per cent of its profit, which could have been Rs 3328 crore for the state of Goa.

Through this application, the applicant is now trying to deny even this pittance and cavilling at a small amount to be saved for Goa's future generations, states Foundation director Dr Claude Alvares.

He plans to tell the court today that Goans are not beggars, who will sell their ore at throwaway price. The ore is owned by the government in any case, on behalf of the public, he states.

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Let govt be the owner of the mines.Best soln is nationlisation of mines.

- Parag Hede, Panaji,Goa. | 15 th December 2015 11:13

 

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