Goa govt likely to give mining leases to traditional owners

Panaji: The fate of Goa's mining industry would be decided on 18 August, when the state legislative assembly will hold a comprehensive discussion on the guidelines that will form the backbone of the industry.

 Goa govt likely to give mining leases to traditional owners

Goa CM Manohar Parrikar.

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar told the state legislative assembly on Tuesday evening that members would be taken into confidence while finalising draft of the mining policy, which is a precursor for resumption of the iron ore extraction activity in the state.

Parrikar in the assembly indicated that the mining leases, which are currently in the state of suspension, may be handed over to their traditional owners, as state has refused to take them over and even auction them.

The mining industry in Goa has been on hold since September 2012, after it was hit by allegations of illegal mining, and the Supreme Court imposed the ban on fresh extraction and exports.

"Auctioning the mining leases would mean inviting bidders from across the country. It would also invite mafia and there would be problems in the state," Parrikar said.

He said that the mining policy would be notified by 15 September, and leases would be granted by 15 October, this year.

While state government has specified their deadlines, the stakeholders of this industry fear that it would take more time for the resumption.

"The issue does not settle after granting mining leases. The Environment Clearances by union environment and forest ministry for these leases is currently suspended, it needs to be restored," Goa Mining People's Front Convener Suhas Naik, told PTI.

Naik said that the mine owners will also have to get licences from the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), which will take further time.

He said that the state government should give exact time frame as to when mining would resume in the state.

PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 06, 2014 15:24:38 IST