Panaji, March 26 (IANS) Goa Chief minister Manohar Parrikar Monday promised a crackdown on illegal iron ore traders and assured the state legislative assembly that "not a rupee worth of illegal ore would be exported in the next financial year".
Responding to a zero hour mention by leader of opposition Pratapsing Rane regarding Sunday's arrests in an illegal mining at Morlem, 60 km from here, Parrikar said: "Trading should be totally restricted. Genuine people can be there, but we can't have people from Kolkata or somewhere else trading in ore here," Parrikar said, admitting to gross illegalities in the Goa government's mines and geology department.
Parrikar said that even as the election code of conduct was in force, the mines department had given hundreds of trading licences fraudulently and that he was examining all the licences granted on a case-to-case basis.
"I am going through all trading licences. Illegal mining will receive a harsh treatment. There will be zero tolerance to illegal mining," Parrikar said.
"From April 1, I will ensure that not a rupee worth of illegal ore is allowed for export," he said.
There are more than 500 iron ore traders registered with the Goa mines and geology department.
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