CAG’s 2015 report on Goa mining

The CAG’s performance audit report on mining in Goa was recently released. Of the 88 leases renewed, only 3 leases were executed and registered by July 2015 (the last were renewed on 12-Jan-2015). Large errors were observed in the stamp duty amount collected in two cases. The stamp duty to be collected was Rs. 14.25 crores. Instead, only Rs. 9.75 crores …

CAG finds Rs.9,000 cr mining losses in Odisha

The Financial Express reports that the CAG’s Performance Audit of mining in Odisha has found 17 companies benefiting to the extent of Rs. 9,000 crores. Further, the Integrated Mines & Minerals Management System (i3MS), considered the best in India, is far from satisfactory. Out of 43,464 e-permits for 188.60 million tons of iron ore, only 19,053 (44%) permits for 88.39 (47%) million tons …

Centre requiring auction of minor minerals in UP

PTI reports that the Centre has asked Uttar Pradesh to amend its rules for minor minerals to make it transparent and non-discriminatory – auctions in other words. This follows from the Supreme Court judgement in the Presidential Reference on allocation of natural resources. When will Goa follow suit?

Talk at BITS Pilani Goa on Sep 28

Rahul Basu from the Goenchi Mati Movement will be speaking about our Goenchi Mati Proposal at BITS Pilani Goa. If you would like to attend, please email solanodasilva@gmail.com with your name and phone number by tuesday evening so that the security can be informed.

Sand storms approaching

Sand is a mineral and often thought to be renewable. However, the world is actually running out of sand. Sand is also a huge corruption and governance problem across the planet and its turned deadly. And its worst in India. M. Rajshekhar recently wrote a devastating 3 part series (one, two and three) on sand mining in Tamil Nadu. For the first …

Talk at BITS Pilani Goa on Sep 28

Rahul Basu from the Goenchi Mati Movement will be speaking about our Goenchi Mati Proposal at BITS Pilani Goa. If you would like to attend, please email solanodasilva@gmail.com with your name and phone number by tuesday evening so that the security can be informed.

History of the Texas Permanent University Fund

The oldest known Permanent Fund is Texas’s Permanent University Fund. While it was set up in 1876, its origins go much further back to 1839. Interestingly, while its main asset was grazing land & the income from it financed the University of Texas. In 1923, oil was found on university land. Wisely, the oil receipts were treated as principal rather than as …

Why should all mineral receipts be saved in the Permanent Fund?

There are a few reasons we recommend that mineral receipts be saved only in a Permanent Fund as the new non-wasting asset. First, by insisting on all amounts being saved in the Permanent Fund, we are insulating the budget from the boom & bust commodity cycle. When prices are high, revenues expands, and politicians expand expenditure to match. When the prices crash, so …

Consultations on the District Mineral Foundations 

Goa’s District Mineral Foundation Rules have been notified by the government. Unfortunately, the Goa DMFs do not comply with the mining laws, in particular the PMKKKY (Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana). Already over Rs. 30 crores have been collected. However, a recent legislative assembly question disclosed that no plans have been drawn up to utilize the funds, as required by the notified DMFs …

Water for future generations

The Paani Foundation, a spin-off from the Satyamev Jayate TV show, has done an outstanding pilot in three talukas in Maharashtra. Over 100 villages participated in the Paani Cup. This involved sending villagers for training in watershed management, and then actually building water harvesting structures in 45 days in peak summer, just before the monsoon. Future generations played a key part in …