Business Standard

Day before SC-ordered mining ban, Goa mulls review petition

IANS  |  Panaji 

As iron ore extraction and transportation from Goa's 88 mining sites is due to come to a temporary halt on Thursday following a Supreme Court order, the state's Cabinet Advisory Committee on Wednesday recommended filing of a review petition to seek continuation of the mining until the leases are auctioned.

Speaking to IANS on Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Vijai Sardesai, one of the three Ministers on the committee, said the panel had recommended the line of action to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is undergoing treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer in the United States.

"The Chief Minister will take a final decision soon," Sardesai said.

Sardesai also said that the committee had recommended that the state government should approach the Attorney General of India to file the review petition in the Supreme Court as soon as possible.

In its order last month, the apex court had ordered a stop on mining in 88 sites leased in Goa from March 15 and directed the state government to issue fresh leases, after completing necessary environment-related formalities.

An amendment to the Mines and Minerals Regulation and Development Act of 2016 had made auctioning of natural resources mandatory.

The apex court decision triggered a rift in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition in Goa, with several legislators, including BJP MLA from Curchorem Nilesh Cabral, accusing both the state and central governments of "betraying" the interests of those dependent on mining industry in Goa, by not working quickly enough to prevent iron ore extraction from shutdown on March 15.

Urban Development Minister Francis D'Souza, another member of the committee, said that auctioning of mining leases in Goa was the only option, but added that companies currently engaged in ore extraction should be allowed to continue till the auctioning is done.

"Stopping mining would cause loss to the state exchequer as well as to the workforce linked to the mining industry, he claimed.

D'Souza said that MLAs from constituencies in the mining belt would be heading soon-to-be-formed committees to be tasked with assessing losses caused to individuals and companies linked to mining trade.

"The MLAs heading these committee will be assessing the loss. And welfare schemes started by the Goa government, when mining was first banned in 2012, will be extended to ensure that there is no panic," D'Souza said.

The schemes involved financial doles to owners of truck used to ferry iron ore.

On Tuesday, three MPs from Goa, including Union Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Naik, met BJP President Amit Shah and Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari (Shipping) and Narendra Singh (Mines) to urge for a solution to the mining imbroglio, which the Goan lawmakers claim will impact the livelihood of over one lakh people.

--IANS

maya/tsb/dg

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, March 14 2018. 19:56 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU