Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Lion Roars -30

November 11 -17, 2013

Goa’s mining-dependent politicians - 3

In the two previous columns (Lion Roars 28/29) I wrote how the Sanguem legislator Subhash Phaldessai (assets: Rs. 7,08,41,855, liabilities: Rs. 1,46,56,028 ) is a mining transport contractor and owns 18 trucks.  The BJP’s Curchorem legislator Nilesh Cabral had assets of Rs. 13,42,53,207 and liabilities of Rs. 9,09,30,693).  That, the Sanvordem legislator Ganesh Gaonkar is a “dealer” in iron ore and also a transport contractor.  And, that the Sanquelim legislator Pramod Sawant owns two trucks.

The four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators from the mining belt have never accepted the Justice Shah Commission Report, Sawant going to the extent of condemning even the Supreme Court order.  His words, spoken in October 2012: “I condemn the order of the Supreme Court.”

It is no wonder that the four legislators have been using every platform, every opportunity to egg on the government and anybody who is listening for a resumption of mining in Goa.  But when you read their rags to riches story in the shortest possible time, their buying of land in the shortest possible time, their running up of colossal debts; you begin to understand exactly for whom they are rooting for.  Well, it is certainly not for the aam aadmi; they are pleading their own case.  The aam aadmi are needed when the next elections are due and there’s time for that, for now the cash cow they were milking has gone dry; the cheese and butter no longer there.  Unfortunately, the cow which has four compartments or chambers in its stomach (often mistakenly spoken of as four stomachs) couldn’t stomach it.

The Goose with the Golden Egg

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Sanvordem legislator Ganesh Gaonkar had assets of Rs. 7,40,07,274 and liabilities of Rs. 28,41,568 before the last Assembly elections.  His land holdings were as follows:

Non Agricultural Land

Area 9,525.00 sq. mt. (Ponda) – purchased in December 2010 - cost Rs. 17,46,400 - development cost Rs. 20,20,000.
Area 498 sq. mt. (Kundaim, GIDC plot) - purchased in April 2011 - cost Rs. 3,00,000 - development cost –Rs. 5,00,000.
Area 68,300 sq. mt. (Kundaim) - purchased in April 2011 - cost Rs. 10,65,547 - development cost –Rs. 1,90,00,000.
Area 378.75 sq. mt. (Bandora, Ponda) - purchased in 2009 - cost Rs. 4,16,000 - development cost – Rs. 6,00,000.
Area 398.25 sq. mt. (Bandora, Ponda) - purchased in September 2007 - cost Rs. 5,20,000 - development cost- Rs. 7,50,000.
Gaonkar spent Rs. 40,47,947 to buy land and Rs. 2,28,70,000 to develop it.

Commercial Buildings 

Area 41.33 sq. mt. (Ponda) - purchased in October 2010 - cost Rs. 8,08,000 - development cost -Rs. 10,00,000.
Area 23.33 sq. mt. (Ponda) - purchase in October 2011 - cost Rs. 8,32,400 - development cost –Rs. 12,50,000.
Area 20.04 sq. mt. (Ponda) - purchased in October 2011 - cost Rs. 7,07,400- development cost - Rs 9,50,000.
Area 27.39 sq. mt. (Ponda) purchased in October 2011- cost Rs. 9,48,700- development cost - Rs. 12,50,000.
Area 26.27 sq. mt. (Ponda)- purchased in October 2011- cost Rs. 9,25,900 - development cost - Rs. 12,50,000.
Area 43.26 sq mt. (Ponda) – purchased October 2011 - cost – Rs. 14,30,200 - development cost - Rs. 18,50,000.
Gaonkar spent Rs. 56,52,600 to buy what appears to be shop space going by their small sizes and spent Rs. 75,50,000 to develop them.  Is also important to note that except for one, all were bought in one month in 2011 when the mining boom was at its height.  Mine owners exported as much as 54 million tonnes of iron ore in 2011-2012 before the ban on mining.  In fact according to a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Coal and Steel more than one-third (36.9 per cent exactly) of the total iron ore produced in the country was exported during 2011-12.
Residential Buildings   
Area 92.33 sq. mt. (Belgaum, Karanataka) - purchased in January 2010 - cost Rs. 14,30,851 - development cost – Rs. 16,00,000.
Area 90.58 sq. mt. (Ponda) - purchase in May 2010 - cost Rs. 13,26,400 - development cost - Rs. 15,00,000.
Area 540 sq. mt. (Sanguem) - purchased in August 2010 - cost Rs. 35,40,000 - development cost - Rs. 40,00,000.
Area 61 sq. mt. (Ponda) – purchased in December 2009 - cost Rs. 3,12,300 - development cost – Rs. 6,15,000.
Area 218.73 sq. mt. (Bandora) - purchased in March 2010 - cost Rs. 95,45,600 - development cost – Rs. 1,25,00,000.
Gaonkar spent Rs. 1,61,55,151 buying up residential space and Rs. 2,02,15,000 to develop it.

Rags to Riches

Perhaps mining iron ore was indeed the Golden Goose that greedy miners and mining operators killed in order to grab it all.  To boot, how do you explain Pramod Sawant’s riches he made by owning just two tipper trucks.  The Sanvordem legislator had assets of Rs. 1,26,07,982 and liabilities of Rs. 45,91,560 including two Tata tipper trucks he bought for Rs. 12,00,000 and Rs. 14,00,000, before the last Assembly elections.  For the moment I am unable to fathom even how he would take the risk of running up liabilities of Rs. 45,91,560.

Agricultural land 

Area 4,625 sq. mt. (Mayem) - purchased in April 2007 - cost Rs. 5,45,000 - development cost - Rs. 18,00,000.
Non Agricultural Land  
Area 488 sq. mt. (Sanquelim) - purchased in July 2008 - cost Rs. 7,32,600 - development cost- Rs. 35,00,000.
Area 2,550 sq. mt. (Mayem) – purchased in April 2007 - cost Rs. 3,20,000 - development cost- Rs. 10,50,000.
It is important to note here that Pramod buys land for a total of Rs. 15,97,600 and spends Rs. 63,50,000 to develop it.