Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has assured the delegation led by Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar to consult union finance minister regarding special package to Goa to compensate mining-dependent people. He also assured the delegation to examine the issue of granting special status to Goa.
The official communiqué released in this regard stated that the PM has also assured to give instructions to the concerned ministries to co-ordinate with Goa government regarding the case of mining ban before the Supreme Court
He told the delegation that he is aware of the problems caused by mining ban and he will do everything his powers to have legal mining commenced within the four corners of law.
During the discussion, Parrikar observed that 20 per cent of GSDP of Goa came from mining sector.
The ban on mining has severely affected the economy as the state lost about Rs 1500 crore during the year on account of loyalty/VAT while the union government is also losing about Rs 6500 to 7000 crore. He further submitted that Banking sector has an exposure of around Rs 1650 crore, which included Rs 350 crore of Co-operative sector.
Besides a one-time grant of Rs 3000 crore as addition control assistance to rehabilitate mining affected people, Goa chief minister also demanded a special package for banking sector including co-operative sector for deferment of loan installment by 18 months period, relaxation in NPA norms, waiver off penal interest and one time settlement scheme.
Regarding the issue of special status, Parrikar submitted that Goa is not seeking special status for financial benefits, but to preserve and protect its unique identity. He submitted that only about 8 per cent of land mass of Goa is available for habitation and other activities.
Large scale migration is diluting the Goan identity apart from changing the demographics.
On account of large scale land purchases by out siders, land rates have skyrocketed and local Goans are not able to afford a roof over their heads, he told the PM.