Discussion:
[Goanet] Goanet Reader: Goa mining issue reaches corporate AGM in London... (Carmen Miranda)
Goanet Reader
2011-07-28 21:18:50 UTC
Permalink
The Vedanta AGM, London, 27 July 2011.

Report by Carmen Miranda
carmitamiranda at gmail.com

The Vedanta AGM was dominated by pressure groups that fired a
barrage of questions and accusations mainly about the
company's activities in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. I took a
chance, raised my hand, was given the microphone and spoke
about the issue of mining in Goa.

I said, "Given Goa's size -- 104 km long and 40km
wide, with a mining belt already of 95 km long and
19% of Goa's territory under mining concessions --
is Vedanta's strategy to further expand mining in
Goa? Mining in Goa is done in people's backyards
and has been having a terrible impact on people's
lives, livelihoods and health. Goa and Goans cannot
cope with further expansion and are now demanding
the phasing out of mining in Goa. Is Vedanta
prepared to phase out and bring more sustainable
industries to Goa? How do you propose to
rehabilitate the gigantic Sonshi mine for example,
given that all the earth from it has been exported
to China? Will they get back our earth from China
for the rehabilitation process?"

"We got Sesa Goa the granny of mines in Goa going for more
than 50 years. Expansion is not in our plans, we are not
going to expand mining in Goa," replied Anil Agarwal, founder
and Executive Chairman.

The Chief Executive M.S. Mehta said mining is a major
contributor to economy and employment. What would the people
do without mining in Goa?

I explained that the argument of great economic contribution
and employment was a myth and gave the real figures of 6.19%
to economic contribution to Goa's GSDP and 15,000 directly
and 65,000 indirectly employed and suggested that sustainable
industries and alternative economic activities could easily
fill in the gap created by closure of mining.

Either Mr Agarwal is not aware of the plans of Vedanta in Goa
or he was not telling the truth, because the fact is they are
expanding illegally, and doubling extraction of ore. I also
wanted to raise the fact that Sesa Goa, despite 100%
opposition from villagers, applied to get clearance for
mining in the villages of Pirna and Andora in Bardez.

The environmental impact assessments Sesa Goa submitted have
been already refused twice in Delhi because of serious
misrepresentation, omissions and lies. It has now been
submitted for the 3rd time to the National Environment
Appellate Authority in Delhi despite the moratorium imposed
on new mining leases in Goa.

Pressure groups including Survival International, Amnesty
International and others have long opposed a projected
bauxite mine in India's Orissa state, planned for an area
considered sacred by indigenous people, as well as proposals
to increase capacity at Vedanta's Lanjigarh alumina refinery
to 6 million tonnes per year from 1 million.

They say the company has failed to adequately consider the
full human and environmental impact of the project. But the
FTSE 100 miner also came under fire over its operations in
Korba, in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, where a
chimney collapse two years ago killed more than 40 people,
and in the coastal state of Goa, which earlier this month saw
the outer wall of a mine collapse during heavy rains, causing
a slide of silt and mud into fields and nearby settlements.

I am pleased with the opportunity to go to this
Vedanta AGM as it was an excellent way to make our
cause against mining in Goa known. In the process I
also met Bianca Jagger, representatives from
Amnesty International, Mining Network and Action
Aid, who I will try and engage and ask for help
with our cause in Goa.

Last but not least, I established contact with the Agarwal
brothers themselves which I understand is an extremely
difficult thing to do, and with the Chief Executive SM Mehta,
who I hope to lobby in future regarding their activities in
Goa. After the AGM I was having a cup of tea and talking,
well, actually complaining to his Chief Executive and his
brother Navind Agarwal, about what they were doing in Goa. As
I was doing so, I was rather taken by surprise when Anil
Agarwal came out of his way to shake hands with me. At least
they now know we exist and we want them to phase out mining
from Goa.
Mervyn Lobo
2011-07-29 19:56:50 UTC
Permalink
The Vedanta AGM, London, 27 July 2011.

Report by Carmen Miranda
carmitamiranda at gmail.com

The Vedanta AGM was dominated by pressure groups that fired a
barrage of questions and accusations mainly about the
company's activities in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. I took a
chance, raised my hand, was given the microphone and spoke
about the issue of mining in Goa.
-snip-
Last but not least, I established contact with the Agarwal
brothers themselves which I understand is an extremely
difficult thing to do, and with the Chief Executive SM Mehta,
who I hope to lobby in future regarding their activities in
Goa. After the AGM I was having a cup of tea and talking,
well, actually complaining to his Chief Executive and his
brother Navind Agarwal, about what they were doing in Goa. As
I was doing so, I was rather taken by surprise when Anil
Agarwal came out of his way to shake hands with me. At least
they now know we exist and we want them to phase out mining
from Goa.
---------------------------------------------------------

Congrats Carmen,
It is amazing what one determined person can do.?

It becomes very?rewarding to meet people at AGM's who?
think the way you do and make?the effort to go out an demand?
change.

Sooner or later, investors i.e. the people who really own the
shares in the mining giants inform those running the firm that?
they will not accept abuse. Thankfully, here in Toronto, the giant
pension funds of the unions make sure the companies they
have invested in are compliant with all the?environmental?laws.


Lastly, the amount of money involved in Indian iron ore mining
is mind boggling. Here is an article for the Toronto newspaper,
The Globe and Mail.

Mervyn1626Lobo



http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-news/asian-pacific/india-probe-exposes-36-billion-mining-scandal-hits-opposition/article2111468/


India probe exposes $3.6-billion mining scandal, hits opposition
by JAMES POMFRET
NEW DELHI
Published?Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2011?

An independent-led inquiry implicated a prominent Indian opposition politician in a $3.6 billion illegal iron ore mining scandal on Wednesday, underscoring a need to overhaul and better regulate India?s booming but graft-ridden mining sector.

The extensive report into mining graft in southern Karnataka state accused its chief minister, B.S. Yediyurappa, and other key officials of causing at least 160 billion rupees ($3.6 billion) in lost state revenues between 2006 and 2010 from illegal mining and a litany of abuses.

?This inquiry found that there?s a large scale involvement of officials, powerful people, both in administration as well as in the government,? independent ombudsman Justice Santosh Hegde, who spearheaded the report, told reporters.

Several other senior officials with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) including the state tourism minister Janardhana Reddy, were also named in the report.

?I have not done any mistake. I don?t think I need to worry about anything,? Mr. Yediyurappa told reporters. He has rejected calls for his resignation.

Other BJP officials were not immediately available for comment.

While the report is not legally binding the political implications are far reaching and analysts, as well as several members of the BJP, predicted several resignations would follow.

With India?s ruling Congress party coalition reeling from a spate of graft cases including a multi-billion dollar telecoms scandal, the spotlight on the BJP could give the stricken government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh some respite.

Hegde said 400 firms and 787 people had been implicated in a web of corruption involving mining, transport, customs and shipping officials, leading to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of iron ore going missing from mines across the state.

Illegal mining is a major problem across India, as powerful businessmen, often in cahoots with officials, plunder the country?s mineral wealth to meet surging demand for commodities like iron ore in places such as China.

India is the world?s No. 3 iron ore supplier after Australia and Brazil. Karnataka is India?s second largest iron ore producing state but deep-rooted graft and conflicts led authorities to once even impose an export ban that spiked global iron ore prices.

Lax oversight and patchy laws are prompting parliament to propose a new national mining bill that will open up the sector to foreign investment, create an independent regulator and impose profit sharing arrangements with villagers.

?This is a transitionary phase for the industry,? said Basant Poddar, with the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries for Southern India. ?Business and politics should be kept out as many of businessmen are simply caught in the line of crossfire.?

The mining scandal again underscores the need for India ? Asia?s third largest economy after China and Japan ? to overhaul strategic sectors including retail, property and mining, to raise growth and lure fresh investment.

Fearing a public backlash could bruise its chances in polls and erode a key southern voter base, analysts say the BJP will almost certainly force the populist Mr. Yediyurappa to resign.

Corruption pervades almost all levels of society in India despite a thriving democracy and a relatively independent judiciary. It has long been accepted as a fact of life.

Over the past year, however, public anger has risen sharply over particularly blatant abuses, stoked by activists and aggressive media and TV campaigns pushing for the creation of an independent ombudsman to step up the anti-corruption fight.
Goanet Reader
2011-07-28 21:18:50 UTC
Permalink
The Vedanta AGM, London, 27 July 2011.

Report by Carmen Miranda
carmitamiranda at gmail.com

The Vedanta AGM was dominated by pressure groups that fired a
barrage of questions and accusations mainly about the
company's activities in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. I took a
chance, raised my hand, was given the microphone and spoke
about the issue of mining in Goa.

I said, "Given Goa's size -- 104 km long and 40km
wide, with a mining belt already of 95 km long and
19% of Goa's territory under mining concessions --
is Vedanta's strategy to further expand mining in
Goa? Mining in Goa is done in people's backyards
and has been having a terrible impact on people's
lives, livelihoods and health. Goa and Goans cannot
cope with further expansion and are now demanding
the phasing out of mining in Goa. Is Vedanta
prepared to phase out and bring more sustainable
industries to Goa? How do you propose to
rehabilitate the gigantic Sonshi mine for example,
given that all the earth from it has been exported
to China? Will they get back our earth from China
for the rehabilitation process?"

"We got Sesa Goa the granny of mines in Goa going for more
than 50 years. Expansion is not in our plans, we are not
going to expand mining in Goa," replied Anil Agarwal, founder
and Executive Chairman.

The Chief Executive M.S. Mehta said mining is a major
contributor to economy and employment. What would the people
do without mining in Goa?

I explained that the argument of great economic contribution
and employment was a myth and gave the real figures of 6.19%
to economic contribution to Goa's GSDP and 15,000 directly
and 65,000 indirectly employed and suggested that sustainable
industries and alternative economic activities could easily
fill in the gap created by closure of mining.

Either Mr Agarwal is not aware of the plans of Vedanta in Goa
or he was not telling the truth, because the fact is they are
expanding illegally, and doubling extraction of ore. I also
wanted to raise the fact that Sesa Goa, despite 100%
opposition from villagers, applied to get clearance for
mining in the villages of Pirna and Andora in Bardez.

The environmental impact assessments Sesa Goa submitted have
been already refused twice in Delhi because of serious
misrepresentation, omissions and lies. It has now been
submitted for the 3rd time to the National Environment
Appellate Authority in Delhi despite the moratorium imposed
on new mining leases in Goa.

Pressure groups including Survival International, Amnesty
International and others have long opposed a projected
bauxite mine in India's Orissa state, planned for an area
considered sacred by indigenous people, as well as proposals
to increase capacity at Vedanta's Lanjigarh alumina refinery
to 6 million tonnes per year from 1 million.

They say the company has failed to adequately consider the
full human and environmental impact of the project. But the
FTSE 100 miner also came under fire over its operations in
Korba, in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, where a
chimney collapse two years ago killed more than 40 people,
and in the coastal state of Goa, which earlier this month saw
the outer wall of a mine collapse during heavy rains, causing
a slide of silt and mud into fields and nearby settlements.

I am pleased with the opportunity to go to this
Vedanta AGM as it was an excellent way to make our
cause against mining in Goa known. In the process I
also met Bianca Jagger, representatives from
Amnesty International, Mining Network and Action
Aid, who I will try and engage and ask for help
with our cause in Goa.

Last but not least, I established contact with the Agarwal
brothers themselves which I understand is an extremely
difficult thing to do, and with the Chief Executive SM Mehta,
who I hope to lobby in future regarding their activities in
Goa. After the AGM I was having a cup of tea and talking,
well, actually complaining to his Chief Executive and his
brother Navind Agarwal, about what they were doing in Goa. As
I was doing so, I was rather taken by surprise when Anil
Agarwal came out of his way to shake hands with me. At least
they now know we exist and we want them to phase out mining
from Goa.
Mervyn Lobo
2011-07-29 19:56:50 UTC
Permalink
The Vedanta AGM, London, 27 July 2011.

Report by Carmen Miranda
carmitamiranda at gmail.com

The Vedanta AGM was dominated by pressure groups that fired a
barrage of questions and accusations mainly about the
company's activities in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. I took a
chance, raised my hand, was given the microphone and spoke
about the issue of mining in Goa.
-snip-
Last but not least, I established contact with the Agarwal
brothers themselves which I understand is an extremely
difficult thing to do, and with the Chief Executive SM Mehta,
who I hope to lobby in future regarding their activities in
Goa. After the AGM I was having a cup of tea and talking,
well, actually complaining to his Chief Executive and his
brother Navind Agarwal, about what they were doing in Goa. As
I was doing so, I was rather taken by surprise when Anil
Agarwal came out of his way to shake hands with me. At least
they now know we exist and we want them to phase out mining
from Goa.
---------------------------------------------------------

Congrats Carmen,
It is amazing what one determined person can do.?

It becomes very?rewarding to meet people at AGM's who?
think the way you do and make?the effort to go out an demand?
change.

Sooner or later, investors i.e. the people who really own the
shares in the mining giants inform those running the firm that?
they will not accept abuse. Thankfully, here in Toronto, the giant
pension funds of the unions make sure the companies they
have invested in are compliant with all the?environmental?laws.


Lastly, the amount of money involved in Indian iron ore mining
is mind boggling. Here is an article for the Toronto newspaper,
The Globe and Mail.

Mervyn1626Lobo



http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-news/asian-pacific/india-probe-exposes-36-billion-mining-scandal-hits-opposition/article2111468/


India probe exposes $3.6-billion mining scandal, hits opposition
by JAMES POMFRET
NEW DELHI
Published?Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2011?

An independent-led inquiry implicated a prominent Indian opposition politician in a $3.6 billion illegal iron ore mining scandal on Wednesday, underscoring a need to overhaul and better regulate India?s booming but graft-ridden mining sector.

The extensive report into mining graft in southern Karnataka state accused its chief minister, B.S. Yediyurappa, and other key officials of causing at least 160 billion rupees ($3.6 billion) in lost state revenues between 2006 and 2010 from illegal mining and a litany of abuses.

?This inquiry found that there?s a large scale involvement of officials, powerful people, both in administration as well as in the government,? independent ombudsman Justice Santosh Hegde, who spearheaded the report, told reporters.

Several other senior officials with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) including the state tourism minister Janardhana Reddy, were also named in the report.

?I have not done any mistake. I don?t think I need to worry about anything,? Mr. Yediyurappa told reporters. He has rejected calls for his resignation.

Other BJP officials were not immediately available for comment.

While the report is not legally binding the political implications are far reaching and analysts, as well as several members of the BJP, predicted several resignations would follow.

With India?s ruling Congress party coalition reeling from a spate of graft cases including a multi-billion dollar telecoms scandal, the spotlight on the BJP could give the stricken government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh some respite.

Hegde said 400 firms and 787 people had been implicated in a web of corruption involving mining, transport, customs and shipping officials, leading to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of iron ore going missing from mines across the state.

Illegal mining is a major problem across India, as powerful businessmen, often in cahoots with officials, plunder the country?s mineral wealth to meet surging demand for commodities like iron ore in places such as China.

India is the world?s No. 3 iron ore supplier after Australia and Brazil. Karnataka is India?s second largest iron ore producing state but deep-rooted graft and conflicts led authorities to once even impose an export ban that spiked global iron ore prices.

Lax oversight and patchy laws are prompting parliament to propose a new national mining bill that will open up the sector to foreign investment, create an independent regulator and impose profit sharing arrangements with villagers.

?This is a transitionary phase for the industry,? said Basant Poddar, with the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries for Southern India. ?Business and politics should be kept out as many of businessmen are simply caught in the line of crossfire.?

The mining scandal again underscores the need for India ? Asia?s third largest economy after China and Japan ? to overhaul strategic sectors including retail, property and mining, to raise growth and lure fresh investment.

Fearing a public backlash could bruise its chances in polls and erode a key southern voter base, analysts say the BJP will almost certainly force the populist Mr. Yediyurappa to resign.

Corruption pervades almost all levels of society in India despite a thriving democracy and a relatively independent judiciary. It has long been accepted as a fact of life.

Over the past year, however, public anger has risen sharply over particularly blatant abuses, stoked by activists and aggressive media and TV campaigns pushing for the creation of an independent ombudsman to step up the anti-corruption fight.
Goanet Reader
2011-07-28 21:18:50 UTC
Permalink
The Vedanta AGM, London, 27 July 2011.

Report by Carmen Miranda
carmitamiranda at gmail.com

The Vedanta AGM was dominated by pressure groups that fired a
barrage of questions and accusations mainly about the
company's activities in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. I took a
chance, raised my hand, was given the microphone and spoke
about the issue of mining in Goa.

I said, "Given Goa's size -- 104 km long and 40km
wide, with a mining belt already of 95 km long and
19% of Goa's territory under mining concessions --
is Vedanta's strategy to further expand mining in
Goa? Mining in Goa is done in people's backyards
and has been having a terrible impact on people's
lives, livelihoods and health. Goa and Goans cannot
cope with further expansion and are now demanding
the phasing out of mining in Goa. Is Vedanta
prepared to phase out and bring more sustainable
industries to Goa? How do you propose to
rehabilitate the gigantic Sonshi mine for example,
given that all the earth from it has been exported
to China? Will they get back our earth from China
for the rehabilitation process?"

"We got Sesa Goa the granny of mines in Goa going for more
than 50 years. Expansion is not in our plans, we are not
going to expand mining in Goa," replied Anil Agarwal, founder
and Executive Chairman.

The Chief Executive M.S. Mehta said mining is a major
contributor to economy and employment. What would the people
do without mining in Goa?

I explained that the argument of great economic contribution
and employment was a myth and gave the real figures of 6.19%
to economic contribution to Goa's GSDP and 15,000 directly
and 65,000 indirectly employed and suggested that sustainable
industries and alternative economic activities could easily
fill in the gap created by closure of mining.

Either Mr Agarwal is not aware of the plans of Vedanta in Goa
or he was not telling the truth, because the fact is they are
expanding illegally, and doubling extraction of ore. I also
wanted to raise the fact that Sesa Goa, despite 100%
opposition from villagers, applied to get clearance for
mining in the villages of Pirna and Andora in Bardez.

The environmental impact assessments Sesa Goa submitted have
been already refused twice in Delhi because of serious
misrepresentation, omissions and lies. It has now been
submitted for the 3rd time to the National Environment
Appellate Authority in Delhi despite the moratorium imposed
on new mining leases in Goa.

Pressure groups including Survival International, Amnesty
International and others have long opposed a projected
bauxite mine in India's Orissa state, planned for an area
considered sacred by indigenous people, as well as proposals
to increase capacity at Vedanta's Lanjigarh alumina refinery
to 6 million tonnes per year from 1 million.

They say the company has failed to adequately consider the
full human and environmental impact of the project. But the
FTSE 100 miner also came under fire over its operations in
Korba, in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, where a
chimney collapse two years ago killed more than 40 people,
and in the coastal state of Goa, which earlier this month saw
the outer wall of a mine collapse during heavy rains, causing
a slide of silt and mud into fields and nearby settlements.

I am pleased with the opportunity to go to this
Vedanta AGM as it was an excellent way to make our
cause against mining in Goa known. In the process I
also met Bianca Jagger, representatives from
Amnesty International, Mining Network and Action
Aid, who I will try and engage and ask for help
with our cause in Goa.

Last but not least, I established contact with the Agarwal
brothers themselves which I understand is an extremely
difficult thing to do, and with the Chief Executive SM Mehta,
who I hope to lobby in future regarding their activities in
Goa. After the AGM I was having a cup of tea and talking,
well, actually complaining to his Chief Executive and his
brother Navind Agarwal, about what they were doing in Goa. As
I was doing so, I was rather taken by surprise when Anil
Agarwal came out of his way to shake hands with me. At least
they now know we exist and we want them to phase out mining
from Goa.
Mervyn Lobo
2011-07-29 19:56:50 UTC
Permalink
The Vedanta AGM, London, 27 July 2011.

Report by Carmen Miranda
carmitamiranda at gmail.com

The Vedanta AGM was dominated by pressure groups that fired a
barrage of questions and accusations mainly about the
company's activities in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. I took a
chance, raised my hand, was given the microphone and spoke
about the issue of mining in Goa.
-snip-
Last but not least, I established contact with the Agarwal
brothers themselves which I understand is an extremely
difficult thing to do, and with the Chief Executive SM Mehta,
who I hope to lobby in future regarding their activities in
Goa. After the AGM I was having a cup of tea and talking,
well, actually complaining to his Chief Executive and his
brother Navind Agarwal, about what they were doing in Goa. As
I was doing so, I was rather taken by surprise when Anil
Agarwal came out of his way to shake hands with me. At least
they now know we exist and we want them to phase out mining
from Goa.
---------------------------------------------------------

Congrats Carmen,
It is amazing what one determined person can do.?

It becomes very?rewarding to meet people at AGM's who?
think the way you do and make?the effort to go out an demand?
change.

Sooner or later, investors i.e. the people who really own the
shares in the mining giants inform those running the firm that?
they will not accept abuse. Thankfully, here in Toronto, the giant
pension funds of the unions make sure the companies they
have invested in are compliant with all the?environmental?laws.


Lastly, the amount of money involved in Indian iron ore mining
is mind boggling. Here is an article for the Toronto newspaper,
The Globe and Mail.

Mervyn1626Lobo



http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-news/asian-pacific/india-probe-exposes-36-billion-mining-scandal-hits-opposition/article2111468/


India probe exposes $3.6-billion mining scandal, hits opposition
by JAMES POMFRET
NEW DELHI
Published?Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2011?

An independent-led inquiry implicated a prominent Indian opposition politician in a $3.6 billion illegal iron ore mining scandal on Wednesday, underscoring a need to overhaul and better regulate India?s booming but graft-ridden mining sector.

The extensive report into mining graft in southern Karnataka state accused its chief minister, B.S. Yediyurappa, and other key officials of causing at least 160 billion rupees ($3.6 billion) in lost state revenues between 2006 and 2010 from illegal mining and a litany of abuses.

?This inquiry found that there?s a large scale involvement of officials, powerful people, both in administration as well as in the government,? independent ombudsman Justice Santosh Hegde, who spearheaded the report, told reporters.

Several other senior officials with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) including the state tourism minister Janardhana Reddy, were also named in the report.

?I have not done any mistake. I don?t think I need to worry about anything,? Mr. Yediyurappa told reporters. He has rejected calls for his resignation.

Other BJP officials were not immediately available for comment.

While the report is not legally binding the political implications are far reaching and analysts, as well as several members of the BJP, predicted several resignations would follow.

With India?s ruling Congress party coalition reeling from a spate of graft cases including a multi-billion dollar telecoms scandal, the spotlight on the BJP could give the stricken government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh some respite.

Hegde said 400 firms and 787 people had been implicated in a web of corruption involving mining, transport, customs and shipping officials, leading to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of iron ore going missing from mines across the state.

Illegal mining is a major problem across India, as powerful businessmen, often in cahoots with officials, plunder the country?s mineral wealth to meet surging demand for commodities like iron ore in places such as China.

India is the world?s No. 3 iron ore supplier after Australia and Brazil. Karnataka is India?s second largest iron ore producing state but deep-rooted graft and conflicts led authorities to once even impose an export ban that spiked global iron ore prices.

Lax oversight and patchy laws are prompting parliament to propose a new national mining bill that will open up the sector to foreign investment, create an independent regulator and impose profit sharing arrangements with villagers.

?This is a transitionary phase for the industry,? said Basant Poddar, with the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries for Southern India. ?Business and politics should be kept out as many of businessmen are simply caught in the line of crossfire.?

The mining scandal again underscores the need for India ? Asia?s third largest economy after China and Japan ? to overhaul strategic sectors including retail, property and mining, to raise growth and lure fresh investment.

Fearing a public backlash could bruise its chances in polls and erode a key southern voter base, analysts say the BJP will almost certainly force the populist Mr. Yediyurappa to resign.

Corruption pervades almost all levels of society in India despite a thriving democracy and a relatively independent judiciary. It has long been accepted as a fact of life.

Over the past year, however, public anger has risen sharply over particularly blatant abuses, stoked by activists and aggressive media and TV campaigns pushing for the creation of an independent ombudsman to step up the anti-corruption fight.
Goanet Reader
2011-07-28 21:18:50 UTC
Permalink
The Vedanta AGM, London, 27 July 2011.

Report by Carmen Miranda
carmitamiranda at gmail.com

The Vedanta AGM was dominated by pressure groups that fired a
barrage of questions and accusations mainly about the
company's activities in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. I took a
chance, raised my hand, was given the microphone and spoke
about the issue of mining in Goa.

I said, "Given Goa's size -- 104 km long and 40km
wide, with a mining belt already of 95 km long and
19% of Goa's territory under mining concessions --
is Vedanta's strategy to further expand mining in
Goa? Mining in Goa is done in people's backyards
and has been having a terrible impact on people's
lives, livelihoods and health. Goa and Goans cannot
cope with further expansion and are now demanding
the phasing out of mining in Goa. Is Vedanta
prepared to phase out and bring more sustainable
industries to Goa? How do you propose to
rehabilitate the gigantic Sonshi mine for example,
given that all the earth from it has been exported
to China? Will they get back our earth from China
for the rehabilitation process?"

"We got Sesa Goa the granny of mines in Goa going for more
than 50 years. Expansion is not in our plans, we are not
going to expand mining in Goa," replied Anil Agarwal, founder
and Executive Chairman.

The Chief Executive M.S. Mehta said mining is a major
contributor to economy and employment. What would the people
do without mining in Goa?

I explained that the argument of great economic contribution
and employment was a myth and gave the real figures of 6.19%
to economic contribution to Goa's GSDP and 15,000 directly
and 65,000 indirectly employed and suggested that sustainable
industries and alternative economic activities could easily
fill in the gap created by closure of mining.

Either Mr Agarwal is not aware of the plans of Vedanta in Goa
or he was not telling the truth, because the fact is they are
expanding illegally, and doubling extraction of ore. I also
wanted to raise the fact that Sesa Goa, despite 100%
opposition from villagers, applied to get clearance for
mining in the villages of Pirna and Andora in Bardez.

The environmental impact assessments Sesa Goa submitted have
been already refused twice in Delhi because of serious
misrepresentation, omissions and lies. It has now been
submitted for the 3rd time to the National Environment
Appellate Authority in Delhi despite the moratorium imposed
on new mining leases in Goa.

Pressure groups including Survival International, Amnesty
International and others have long opposed a projected
bauxite mine in India's Orissa state, planned for an area
considered sacred by indigenous people, as well as proposals
to increase capacity at Vedanta's Lanjigarh alumina refinery
to 6 million tonnes per year from 1 million.

They say the company has failed to adequately consider the
full human and environmental impact of the project. But the
FTSE 100 miner also came under fire over its operations in
Korba, in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, where a
chimney collapse two years ago killed more than 40 people,
and in the coastal state of Goa, which earlier this month saw
the outer wall of a mine collapse during heavy rains, causing
a slide of silt and mud into fields and nearby settlements.

I am pleased with the opportunity to go to this
Vedanta AGM as it was an excellent way to make our
cause against mining in Goa known. In the process I
also met Bianca Jagger, representatives from
Amnesty International, Mining Network and Action
Aid, who I will try and engage and ask for help
with our cause in Goa.

Last but not least, I established contact with the Agarwal
brothers themselves which I understand is an extremely
difficult thing to do, and with the Chief Executive SM Mehta,
who I hope to lobby in future regarding their activities in
Goa. After the AGM I was having a cup of tea and talking,
well, actually complaining to his Chief Executive and his
brother Navind Agarwal, about what they were doing in Goa. As
I was doing so, I was rather taken by surprise when Anil
Agarwal came out of his way to shake hands with me. At least
they now know we exist and we want them to phase out mining
from Goa.
Mervyn Lobo
2011-07-29 19:56:50 UTC
Permalink
The Vedanta AGM, London, 27 July 2011.

Report by Carmen Miranda
carmitamiranda at gmail.com

The Vedanta AGM was dominated by pressure groups that fired a
barrage of questions and accusations mainly about the
company's activities in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. I took a
chance, raised my hand, was given the microphone and spoke
about the issue of mining in Goa.
-snip-
Last but not least, I established contact with the Agarwal
brothers themselves which I understand is an extremely
difficult thing to do, and with the Chief Executive SM Mehta,
who I hope to lobby in future regarding their activities in
Goa. After the AGM I was having a cup of tea and talking,
well, actually complaining to his Chief Executive and his
brother Navind Agarwal, about what they were doing in Goa. As
I was doing so, I was rather taken by surprise when Anil
Agarwal came out of his way to shake hands with me. At least
they now know we exist and we want them to phase out mining
from Goa.
---------------------------------------------------------

Congrats Carmen,
It is amazing what one determined person can do.?

It becomes very?rewarding to meet people at AGM's who?
think the way you do and make?the effort to go out an demand?
change.

Sooner or later, investors i.e. the people who really own the
shares in the mining giants inform those running the firm that?
they will not accept abuse. Thankfully, here in Toronto, the giant
pension funds of the unions make sure the companies they
have invested in are compliant with all the?environmental?laws.


Lastly, the amount of money involved in Indian iron ore mining
is mind boggling. Here is an article for the Toronto newspaper,
The Globe and Mail.

Mervyn1626Lobo



http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-news/asian-pacific/india-probe-exposes-36-billion-mining-scandal-hits-opposition/article2111468/


India probe exposes $3.6-billion mining scandal, hits opposition
by JAMES POMFRET
NEW DELHI
Published?Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2011?

An independent-led inquiry implicated a prominent Indian opposition politician in a $3.6 billion illegal iron ore mining scandal on Wednesday, underscoring a need to overhaul and better regulate India?s booming but graft-ridden mining sector.

The extensive report into mining graft in southern Karnataka state accused its chief minister, B.S. Yediyurappa, and other key officials of causing at least 160 billion rupees ($3.6 billion) in lost state revenues between 2006 and 2010 from illegal mining and a litany of abuses.

?This inquiry found that there?s a large scale involvement of officials, powerful people, both in administration as well as in the government,? independent ombudsman Justice Santosh Hegde, who spearheaded the report, told reporters.

Several other senior officials with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) including the state tourism minister Janardhana Reddy, were also named in the report.

?I have not done any mistake. I don?t think I need to worry about anything,? Mr. Yediyurappa told reporters. He has rejected calls for his resignation.

Other BJP officials were not immediately available for comment.

While the report is not legally binding the political implications are far reaching and analysts, as well as several members of the BJP, predicted several resignations would follow.

With India?s ruling Congress party coalition reeling from a spate of graft cases including a multi-billion dollar telecoms scandal, the spotlight on the BJP could give the stricken government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh some respite.

Hegde said 400 firms and 787 people had been implicated in a web of corruption involving mining, transport, customs and shipping officials, leading to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of iron ore going missing from mines across the state.

Illegal mining is a major problem across India, as powerful businessmen, often in cahoots with officials, plunder the country?s mineral wealth to meet surging demand for commodities like iron ore in places such as China.

India is the world?s No. 3 iron ore supplier after Australia and Brazil. Karnataka is India?s second largest iron ore producing state but deep-rooted graft and conflicts led authorities to once even impose an export ban that spiked global iron ore prices.

Lax oversight and patchy laws are prompting parliament to propose a new national mining bill that will open up the sector to foreign investment, create an independent regulator and impose profit sharing arrangements with villagers.

?This is a transitionary phase for the industry,? said Basant Poddar, with the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries for Southern India. ?Business and politics should be kept out as many of businessmen are simply caught in the line of crossfire.?

The mining scandal again underscores the need for India ? Asia?s third largest economy after China and Japan ? to overhaul strategic sectors including retail, property and mining, to raise growth and lure fresh investment.

Fearing a public backlash could bruise its chances in polls and erode a key southern voter base, analysts say the BJP will almost certainly force the populist Mr. Yediyurappa to resign.

Corruption pervades almost all levels of society in India despite a thriving democracy and a relatively independent judiciary. It has long been accepted as a fact of life.

Over the past year, however, public anger has risen sharply over particularly blatant abuses, stoked by activists and aggressive media and TV campaigns pushing for the creation of an independent ombudsman to step up the anti-corruption fight.
Goanet Reader
2011-07-28 21:18:50 UTC
Permalink
The Vedanta AGM, London, 27 July 2011.

Report by Carmen Miranda
carmitamiranda at gmail.com

The Vedanta AGM was dominated by pressure groups that fired a
barrage of questions and accusations mainly about the
company's activities in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. I took a
chance, raised my hand, was given the microphone and spoke
about the issue of mining in Goa.

I said, "Given Goa's size -- 104 km long and 40km
wide, with a mining belt already of 95 km long and
19% of Goa's territory under mining concessions --
is Vedanta's strategy to further expand mining in
Goa? Mining in Goa is done in people's backyards
and has been having a terrible impact on people's
lives, livelihoods and health. Goa and Goans cannot
cope with further expansion and are now demanding
the phasing out of mining in Goa. Is Vedanta
prepared to phase out and bring more sustainable
industries to Goa? How do you propose to
rehabilitate the gigantic Sonshi mine for example,
given that all the earth from it has been exported
to China? Will they get back our earth from China
for the rehabilitation process?"

"We got Sesa Goa the granny of mines in Goa going for more
than 50 years. Expansion is not in our plans, we are not
going to expand mining in Goa," replied Anil Agarwal, founder
and Executive Chairman.

The Chief Executive M.S. Mehta said mining is a major
contributor to economy and employment. What would the people
do without mining in Goa?

I explained that the argument of great economic contribution
and employment was a myth and gave the real figures of 6.19%
to economic contribution to Goa's GSDP and 15,000 directly
and 65,000 indirectly employed and suggested that sustainable
industries and alternative economic activities could easily
fill in the gap created by closure of mining.

Either Mr Agarwal is not aware of the plans of Vedanta in Goa
or he was not telling the truth, because the fact is they are
expanding illegally, and doubling extraction of ore. I also
wanted to raise the fact that Sesa Goa, despite 100%
opposition from villagers, applied to get clearance for
mining in the villages of Pirna and Andora in Bardez.

The environmental impact assessments Sesa Goa submitted have
been already refused twice in Delhi because of serious
misrepresentation, omissions and lies. It has now been
submitted for the 3rd time to the National Environment
Appellate Authority in Delhi despite the moratorium imposed
on new mining leases in Goa.

Pressure groups including Survival International, Amnesty
International and others have long opposed a projected
bauxite mine in India's Orissa state, planned for an area
considered sacred by indigenous people, as well as proposals
to increase capacity at Vedanta's Lanjigarh alumina refinery
to 6 million tonnes per year from 1 million.

They say the company has failed to adequately consider the
full human and environmental impact of the project. But the
FTSE 100 miner also came under fire over its operations in
Korba, in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, where a
chimney collapse two years ago killed more than 40 people,
and in the coastal state of Goa, which earlier this month saw
the outer wall of a mine collapse during heavy rains, causing
a slide of silt and mud into fields and nearby settlements.

I am pleased with the opportunity to go to this
Vedanta AGM as it was an excellent way to make our
cause against mining in Goa known. In the process I
also met Bianca Jagger, representatives from
Amnesty International, Mining Network and Action
Aid, who I will try and engage and ask for help
with our cause in Goa.

Last but not least, I established contact with the Agarwal
brothers themselves which I understand is an extremely
difficult thing to do, and with the Chief Executive SM Mehta,
who I hope to lobby in future regarding their activities in
Goa. After the AGM I was having a cup of tea and talking,
well, actually complaining to his Chief Executive and his
brother Navind Agarwal, about what they were doing in Goa. As
I was doing so, I was rather taken by surprise when Anil
Agarwal came out of his way to shake hands with me. At least
they now know we exist and we want them to phase out mining
from Goa.
Mervyn Lobo
2011-07-29 19:56:50 UTC
Permalink
The Vedanta AGM, London, 27 July 2011.

Report by Carmen Miranda
carmitamiranda at gmail.com

The Vedanta AGM was dominated by pressure groups that fired a
barrage of questions and accusations mainly about the
company's activities in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. I took a
chance, raised my hand, was given the microphone and spoke
about the issue of mining in Goa.
-snip-
Last but not least, I established contact with the Agarwal
brothers themselves which I understand is an extremely
difficult thing to do, and with the Chief Executive SM Mehta,
who I hope to lobby in future regarding their activities in
Goa. After the AGM I was having a cup of tea and talking,
well, actually complaining to his Chief Executive and his
brother Navind Agarwal, about what they were doing in Goa. As
I was doing so, I was rather taken by surprise when Anil
Agarwal came out of his way to shake hands with me. At least
they now know we exist and we want them to phase out mining
from Goa.
---------------------------------------------------------

Congrats Carmen,
It is amazing what one determined person can do.?

It becomes very?rewarding to meet people at AGM's who?
think the way you do and make?the effort to go out an demand?
change.

Sooner or later, investors i.e. the people who really own the
shares in the mining giants inform those running the firm that?
they will not accept abuse. Thankfully, here in Toronto, the giant
pension funds of the unions make sure the companies they
have invested in are compliant with all the?environmental?laws.


Lastly, the amount of money involved in Indian iron ore mining
is mind boggling. Here is an article for the Toronto newspaper,
The Globe and Mail.

Mervyn1626Lobo



http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-news/asian-pacific/india-probe-exposes-36-billion-mining-scandal-hits-opposition/article2111468/


India probe exposes $3.6-billion mining scandal, hits opposition
by JAMES POMFRET
NEW DELHI
Published?Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2011?

An independent-led inquiry implicated a prominent Indian opposition politician in a $3.6 billion illegal iron ore mining scandal on Wednesday, underscoring a need to overhaul and better regulate India?s booming but graft-ridden mining sector.

The extensive report into mining graft in southern Karnataka state accused its chief minister, B.S. Yediyurappa, and other key officials of causing at least 160 billion rupees ($3.6 billion) in lost state revenues between 2006 and 2010 from illegal mining and a litany of abuses.

?This inquiry found that there?s a large scale involvement of officials, powerful people, both in administration as well as in the government,? independent ombudsman Justice Santosh Hegde, who spearheaded the report, told reporters.

Several other senior officials with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) including the state tourism minister Janardhana Reddy, were also named in the report.

?I have not done any mistake. I don?t think I need to worry about anything,? Mr. Yediyurappa told reporters. He has rejected calls for his resignation.

Other BJP officials were not immediately available for comment.

While the report is not legally binding the political implications are far reaching and analysts, as well as several members of the BJP, predicted several resignations would follow.

With India?s ruling Congress party coalition reeling from a spate of graft cases including a multi-billion dollar telecoms scandal, the spotlight on the BJP could give the stricken government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh some respite.

Hegde said 400 firms and 787 people had been implicated in a web of corruption involving mining, transport, customs and shipping officials, leading to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of iron ore going missing from mines across the state.

Illegal mining is a major problem across India, as powerful businessmen, often in cahoots with officials, plunder the country?s mineral wealth to meet surging demand for commodities like iron ore in places such as China.

India is the world?s No. 3 iron ore supplier after Australia and Brazil. Karnataka is India?s second largest iron ore producing state but deep-rooted graft and conflicts led authorities to once even impose an export ban that spiked global iron ore prices.

Lax oversight and patchy laws are prompting parliament to propose a new national mining bill that will open up the sector to foreign investment, create an independent regulator and impose profit sharing arrangements with villagers.

?This is a transitionary phase for the industry,? said Basant Poddar, with the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries for Southern India. ?Business and politics should be kept out as many of businessmen are simply caught in the line of crossfire.?

The mining scandal again underscores the need for India ? Asia?s third largest economy after China and Japan ? to overhaul strategic sectors including retail, property and mining, to raise growth and lure fresh investment.

Fearing a public backlash could bruise its chances in polls and erode a key southern voter base, analysts say the BJP will almost certainly force the populist Mr. Yediyurappa to resign.

Corruption pervades almost all levels of society in India despite a thriving democracy and a relatively independent judiciary. It has long been accepted as a fact of life.

Over the past year, however, public anger has risen sharply over particularly blatant abuses, stoked by activists and aggressive media and TV campaigns pushing for the creation of an independent ombudsman to step up the anti-corruption fight.
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