Mining earnings in Goa more than compensate the environmental degradation caused says a report prepared by the National Council of Applied Economic Research’s (NCAER) on ‘Contribution of Goan Iron Ore Mining Industry’ which was unveiled by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat on Thursday.
The report pegs the environmental damage primarily caused by deforestation at Rs 467.3 crore annually. However, the report attributes 10.14 per cent of the State’s Gross Domestic Product to the mining industry and opines that if mining is banned in Goa, the State will lose Rs 1,842 crore every year.
Goa has a total surface area of 370,200 hectares out of which approximately 2,000 hectares is covered under the mines which are active. Besides contributing to the GDP, the industry also contributes to employment for a workforce of 75,000 persons.
The report also states that given the fragility of Goan ecosystem, the government has prepared a broad based regional plan to implement certain policy measures to maintain the balance of the same.
The costs associated with banning iron ore industry in the state would increase by Rs 1,842 crore every year, estimated NCAER’s Chief Economic Advisor R Venkatesan and said that the total share of iron ore mining in GDP including direct and indirect effects is 12.74 per cent. Venkatesan also revealed that the Central government was paid Rs 2,000 crore in the form of taxes which includes corporate tax of Rs 1600 crore
Addressing the gathering, the chief minister said that the Centre is planning to bring in drastic change in Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act (India) (MMRDA)
“I too have recommended several changes which will give relief to those living in mining areas,” he said and stressed on the need to maintain balance between mining and environment, by creating less harm to the environment.