Panaji : Anticipating the huge financial crisis the State will be plunged into post March 16, all the political parties in Goa have decided to stand united in pressing for the continuance of mining activities in Goa.

The Supreme Court, via an order dated February 7, quashed second renewals granted to 88 iron ore mining leases, directing them to stop operations after March 15. Assessing that stoppage of mining activities will adversely cost the State exchequer a revenue loss of nearly Rs 3,500 crore and to those dependent on mining alone, an all-party meeting under the chairmanship of senior Minister Sudin Dhavalikar was held on Thursday evening.

“We have unanimously decided to take all party delegation to the Centre on Monday to seek help and support to the State. We are going to bring to the notice of the Centre that the suspension of mining activities will affect livelihood of nearly 2 lakh people who are directly or indirectly dependent on the business, besides huge loss to the State treasury”, informed Dhavalikar.

The delegation will call upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister for Mines Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi on Monday morning.

Narendra Swaikar ,South Goa  Member of Parliament, who will be part of the delegation, is expected to press for the demand that Centre issue an ordinance stating that under the Goa, Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration as Mining Leases) Act, 1987, the appointment day means 28th day of December 1961 be read as the date of assent (1987). This will indicate that the leases were granted in 1987 and not in 1961. The due for the first renewal would then fall in 2017 for a period up to 20 years.

“We want mining activities to continue and hence have extended full support to the government,” said Leader of the Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar who was also the part of all party meeting attended by several other leaders across party lines.

Free Press Journal