Goa Mineral Ore Exporters’ Association (GMOEA) has sought Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s intervention to rescue the industry in the state in the wake a Supreme Court order. 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. In a letter submitted to the office of Chief Minister Goa, GMOEA 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.” Various stakeholders will be left without any source of livelihood. A sizable population of Goa is dependent on mining or related activities such as earth moving, transportation and barge operations, it said.
“We 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 in particular but also to protect the livelihood of the mining dependents people of the state,” the association said in its letter to the CM. Further, the consequences could be financial liabilities on small families in terms of various loans and borrowings.
Loan amounts which have been advanced to various entities/individuals for purchase of mining machinery, trucks, barges as their earning potential would be reduced greatly thereby increasing the non-performing assets of financial institutions, it added.