Business Standard

Goa to bring projects to enable mining-hit people earn income


Press Trust of India Panaji
Amid the ongoing mining crisis in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant Thursday said the government would roll out some projects to create income opportunities for the people affected by the mining ban.
He said money from the District Mineral Fund would be utilised for this purpose.
Sawant said this after chairing a meeting of the newly-reconstituted District Mineral Foundation committees at the state secretariat.
During the meeting, he sought an annual plan on spending the fund on different schemes in the mining belt.
"Besides various other activities, the thrust should be given on income-generating initiatives in the mining belt," he said.
The mining industry in Goa contributes towards the District Mineral Fund. The Goa District Mineral Foundation has so far collected Rs 180 crore from both the districts- North Goa and South Goa.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Sawant said both the committees headed by the district collectors will submit their annual expenditure plan within one month.
BJP MLAs Pravin Zantye, Joshua D'Souza and Glenn Ticlo would be part of the North district committee, while independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar, BJP legislators Carlose Almeida and Subhash Shirodkar would be represent the South committee.
Sawant admitted that in the last four years, the funds were not utilised properly.
"Money was spent on water supply and transportation. This time, we will spend money on all the aspects, including agriculture, water resources, education, health and others," he said.
The North district committee can earmark projects worth Rs 48 crore, while its southern counterpart can earmark projects worth Rs 45 crore for the entire year, Sawant said.
"We will invest in income-generating activities in the mining belt," he said.
The state government has decided to take into confidence the Goa Mineral Foundation, an NGO representing the mine owners, before finalising the expenditure plan.
Soon after the plan is prepared, its execution will start, he saidm adding that all the government departments will act as the implementing agencies for these works.
The five-decade-old mining industry in the coastal state came to a standstill in March 2018, after the Supreme Court quashed the second renewal of 88 iron ore mining leases.

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First Published: Jun 27 2019 | 5:40 PM IST

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