Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is currently under undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences here, has written to the mines ministry for making changes in the laws so that the mining activity can begin in the state, an official source said Tuesday. In its February 7, 2018 judgement, the Supreme Court had quashed the second renewal of iron ore mining leases given to 88 companies in Goa as a result of which mining operations in the state have came to a standstill.
“Letter has been written by him (Parrikar) to the mines ministry to bring in changes in those laws which regulate the mining sector…so that mining (operation) can begin in state,” the source with direct knowledge of the development told PTI. Ever since the mining operations stopped in Goa, political and labour union leaders from the state are looking at ways to find a solution to the problem. Many leaders from the state have submitted their requests with the office of Goa Chief Minister, the Union ministries of mines, and road transport to find a solution to the issue.
Last month, Parrikar had also sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to address the current crisis in the state’s mining sector, saying it has impacted 1.5 lakh people and hit iron ore exports worth up to Rs 25,000 crore. “I have requested him (Prime Minister) to consider Goa on priority. There is a very positive approach from the PM,” the chief minister had said after meeting the Prime Minister here. Parrikar had said that he has also given some suggestions to the PM.
“My options were some legal amendments which would remove all these impediments because Goa is (in) very complex situation,” Parrikar had said. The Goa Assembly has already passed a resolution urging the Centre to suitably amend the Goa, Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration as Mining Leases) Act, to allow mining leases in the state to be operational till 2037.
The resolution also urged the Centre to amend the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act in order to give mining leases in Goa a 50-year tenure of operation.