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‘Parrikar slashed cess on coal in Aug 2014’

Panaji: Condemning the BJP's attempt to politicise the coal transportation issue, Congress on Monday said while it was against the expansion of the coal handling capacity at MPT, it had never sought an outright stop on coal handling.

Congress MLAs along with state party president Shantaram Naik, met at the assembly complex to discuss the issue. They said the BJP was trying to incrementally increase coal transportation and imports from MPT, which would benefit certain private sector players and not the common man.

"It seems the present government was formed with the sole aim to turn Goa into a coal hub," opposition leader and Congress Quepem MLA Chandrakant Kavlekar said. "Welfare of the citizens is larger than political affiliations, and the gravity of the threats to Goa makes it essential to all parties and Goans to rise above politics to save Goa."

MPT proposes to transfer over 51 million tonnes of coal every year from 2030, which will then be transported to factories in Karnataka. A 2016 Sagarmala report on port infrastructure upgradation estimates that 21 million tonnes of coal would be transported through Goa alone.

BJP spokesperson Dattaprasad Naik on November 11 alleged that coal handling facilities had been brought by the Congress to the port town. Congress refuted the claim.

Releasing documents obtained from the Centre and the state government, Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco said it was chief minister Manohar Parrikar who had drastically reduced the cess on coal from Rs 250 per tonne to Rs 50 per tonne in August 2014.

Lourenco also showed documents to point out that in July 2001, when the Parrikar government and Atal Bihari Vajpayee government were in power at the state and at the Centre, land was allotted to MPT at a cost of Rs 650 per square metre, for a total sum of Rs 7.96 crore.


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Source: ‘Parrikar slashed cess on coal in Aug 2014’

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