Sesa Goa claims no wrong doing in Karnataka mining scam

Sesa Goa claims no wrong doing in Karnataka mining scam

New Delhi: Vedanta Group firm Sesa Goa has contested Karnataka Lokayukta’s report and said no illegal transaction was done with regard to export of iron ore as the shipments had reached the Krishnapatnam port before the ban on its transportation took effect.

“The Lokayukta report has made an observation about our shipments from Krishnapatnam port and it has not indicted us," Sesa Goa managing director P. K. Mukherjee told the news agency.

In the 464-page report on illegal mining, Karnataka’s Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde has mentioned Sesa Goa among the companies which exported iron ore from Krishnapatnam port after the state government had a ban on its transportation.

On Friday, the company’s shares plunged by over 5% to Rs275 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange against the backdrop of reports that company has also been named in the Lokayukta’s report.

Clarifying the transactions, which have been mentioned in the report, Mukherjee said the two different shipments of about 60,500 tonnes and 15,000 tonnes respectively were lying at the Krishnapatnam port before the imposition of ban by Karnataka government on 28 July 2010 and they were exported.

“There was nothing illegal in that (exports of two shipments) as these quantities were moved to the port in early July while the ban was imposed on 28 July 2010. Every export was done in a legal way," Mukherjee said.

He added that Krishnapatnam port is outside Karnataka and there was no restriction on ports outside the state to stop exports.

“The ban was on transportation of iron ore from the state and our quantities were moved before the imposition of ban. So where is the question of violating the law," Mukherjee said.

According to the report, Sesa Goa exported 60,500 tonnes of iron ore through MV Nava Eliza on 10 August 2010, while the second export of the company of about 15,000 tonnes took place on 13 August 2010 through MV Genco Pioneer.

The report has also strongly indicted, among others, Karnataka chief minister B. S. Yeddyurappa, who is expected to quit office in the wake of illegal mining scam.