Panaji, Jan 25 (IANS) The Goa government is making continuous efforts to resume mining in a systematic manner, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari said on Monday, in his inaugural address to the state Legislative Assembly during the winter session.
“My government is continuously making efforts to resume mining in a systematic manner by rejuvenating the state’s economy, preserving the environment, the natural resources, the health status of the people in the mining sector with the main vision to ensure ‘sustainable mining’ in the state of Goa,” Koshyari said in his speech.
The mining issue has been hanging fire in Goa, ever since the apex court in 2018, citing irregularities in the processes adopted by the state government to renew 88 mining leases, scrapped the leases rendering them invalid.
As a result of the order all fresh ore extraction activity has stopped, bringing the industry to a standstill.
The state’s mining sector accounted for nearly 16 per cent of Goa’s Gross Domestic Product in 2011-12, but the contribution slipped to only 0.2 per cent in 2019-20, due to the virtual non functioning of the industry in wake of the fresh stoppage.
As a result of the order all fresh ore extraction activity has stopped, bringing the industry to a standstill. The only revenues generated by the mining industry in the period between 2018 and 2021 is via e-auctioning of iron ore already extracted and dumped at respective mining leases.
“My government has conducted 24 e-auctions and sold 14.68 million tons of mineral ore lying at various stack yards,” Koshyari also said.
The stoppage in 2018 is the second time in less than a decade, that all mining in the state has come to a standstill. It was banned for the first time in 2012 after a judicial commission exposed a Rs 35,000 crore illegal mining scam, indicting top mining companies as well as politicians and bureaucrats.