Ahead of the Goa Assembly session starting on July 19, a group representing people affected by the mining ban in the state has begun submitting petitions and memorandums to ministers and legislators asking them for help to reverse the ban.
The mining sector in the coastal state came to a standstill on March 16, after the Supreme Court, in an order passed in February this year, quashed 88 mining leases and banned the extraction of fresh ore.
The Goa Mining People’s Front, an umbrella organisation of people associated with the mining sector, has begun submitting memorandums to ministers and MLAs asking them to rescue the livelihoods of those affected by the ban.
“Through the memorandum, we have asked Goa MLAs to adopt a resolution in the Assembly to urge the Central government to amend Section 2 of the Goa Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration as MiningLeases)Act, 1987. This will pave way for the resumption of mining in Goa,” said GMPF president Puti Gaonkar.
Gaonkar said that mining, which employed as many as 3,00,000 people directly and indirectly, was the backbone of the state’s economy and, at one time, contributed about 20 per cent to Goa’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
He claimed that the ban, and subsequent loss of livelihood, could create resentment among people.
Gaonkar further contended that the mining ban would also create problems for banks which have lent money to mining entities and this in turn would see an increase in the non-performing assets (NPAs) of these banks.