Goa iron ore miners’ body GMOEA on Sunday said it will tomorrow inform the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) about the adverse impact of the closure of mining operations on those dependent on the industry and the loss of revenue for the state exchequer.
“We have been given an appointment at the PMO. We would attempt to update the offices of the prime minister on the impact of the closure of mining operations from the March 15. The effect on the economy, employment and investment credibility going forward, as this is the worst economic event in recent history,” Goa Mineral Ore Exporters’ Association (GMOEA) President, Ambar Timblo told PTI in an email.
The body said stopping of mining operations can result in loss of about 60,000 direct and indirect jobs and about Rs 3,400 crore revenue loss. In its February 7 order, the apex court quashed the second renewal of 88 iron ore mining leases in Goa in 2015, saying the sole motive of the companies behind the commercial activity was profit maximisation and no social purpose was attached to it.
The top court held as illegal the renewal given to the companies, by holding that the move was against the earlier decisions and orders of the apex court which in 2014 had said that the state government was required to grant fresh mining leases and not to give second renewal. It directed the Centre and the Goa government to grant fresh environmental clearances to them and asked the state to take necessary steps to grant fresh mining leases in accordance with the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
The court said it was giving time till March 15 to mining lease holders, who have been granted a second renewal in violation of its previous directions, to manage their affairs. The stakeholders are running from pillar to posts seeking support. Earlier this week, the body met the Union Mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar and informed him about the impact of stoppage of mining in Goa.
“We humbly request that the genuine concerns of the industry should and ought be addressed at the highest forum to not only overcome the adverse impacts on the economy of the state by early resumption of mining operations in particular but also to protect the livelihood of the mining dependent people,” it said.
On February 13, GMOEA had also submitted a letter to the office of Chief Minister Goa. The letter said: “the consequence of the abrupt stoppage of mining… (can result in) loss of direct and indirect employment with the industry would be in the range of 60,000 and including the dependents, the figure would be roughly around 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh”.