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The assurances given by the Goan minsters to the mining-dependent is not going to get even closer the reality as the center has turned down the demand of Goa miners to resume the mining business in the state through an ordinance, with this decision the last attempt of mining resumption has become futile.

The reports published by the Financial Express has stated that In a letter to the Prime Minister on September 24, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar requested him to take appropriate steps to bring about necessary changes in the provision of the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act so that the mining in the state can resume at the earliest.

The Supreme Court had in February this year quashed the state government’s 2015 order granting ‘second renewal’ of 88 iron ore mining leases in the state. The apex court had also directed to stop all mining operations, with effect from March 16, on the ground that the second renewal was given to those mines in violation of its previous directions.

It also said that the order will prevail until fresh mining leases are granted and fresh environmental clearances were given.

The report further states that the Goa mining industry provides an employment to around 60,000 people. Even at 20 million tonnes per annum production cap, the mining industry contributes over 10% to the state GDP.

The abrupt stoppage of mining business has already increased the size of the non-performing asset of the financial institutions which had advanced to various individuals and entities for the purchase of mining machinery, trucks and barges in the state.

It may be recalled that the resolution was passed in the Goa assembly monsoon season requesting the center to take appropriate steps including legislative measures to resolve the economic and social chaos arising out of the stoppage of the mines’ closure. The resolution had unanimous support.

However, sources in the mining ministry said that the Centre was not considering to bring an ordinance since mining is a state subject and the Centre really does not have much to interfere into the mining affairs of a particular state.

It is a clear indication of both center and state is busy passing their responsibilities to each other without any outcome. 

The game of mining stoppage began with the Shah report which brought the huge financial fraud into the light. According to the Shah commission reports which claimed there was illegal mining worth Rs 35,000 crore in the state between 2005 and 2012.

Looking at the huge spillage of the cash the apex court had in 2012 stooped all mining activities in the state.

The industry remained shut for nearly 19 months from October 2012 to April 2014, when the apex court finally allowed miners to operate, imposing several riders including the restriction of extracting 20 million tonnes of ore annually.  

After lifting of the ban, it took another 18 months for the industry to actually start the work as the first fresh extraction took place in October 2015.

The state is running into a very serious financial crisis due to the closure of the mining while the state government is busy showing rosy pictures to the mining-dependent people in the backdrop of an upcoming by-polls in the two constituencies. What is your opinion on this serious issue? do you think the mining will ever resume again in the state? What will be the fate of mining dependent?     

Image source: Livemint

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