New Delhi, Mar 5 (PTI) A Goa miners’ body today took its concerns to the Prime Minister’s Office over the impact of a Supreme Court order that quashed the second renewal of 88 iron ore mining leases on the state’s economy and jobs.Also Read - Live India vs England Score And Updates 1st Test, Day 1: Jasprit Bumrah Provides Early Breakthrough
Goa Mineral Ore Exporters’ Association (GMOEA) President Ambar Timblo told PTI that they met “Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Nripendra Misra”, and apprised the PMO about the impact of closure of mining operations from March 15 following the SC order. Also Read - I am Standing With Them: Rahul Meets Parents of Minor Girl Raped & Killed in Delhi's Nangal
Timblo said the secretary listened to their “problems patiently”, but did not elaborate whether the delegation was given any assurance. Also Read - 'As a Father of 14-year-old Daughter...', After Facing Flak, Goa CM Clarifies His Controversial Remark on Rape of 2 Minors
In a letter submitted to the PMO, the miners’ body updated the top office about the adverse impact of closure of mining operations on those dependent on the industry and the loss of revenue for the state exchequer, Timblo said.
“The effect on the economy, employment and investment credibility going forward, as this is the worst economic event in recent history,” he said.
The immediate impact would be loss of about 60,000 direct and indirect jobs and about 3 lakh those dependent on mining and about Rs 3,400 crore revenue loss. In last ten years, Goa has contributed nearly Rs 30,000 crore, he said.
Goa miners and other stakeholders have been running from the pillar to post to gather support after the apex court held as illegal the renewal given to companies for 88 iron ore mining leases in the state.
Earlier in the day, an all-party delegation from Goa also met Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Piyush Goyal and urged them to help the iron ore mining industry, which is staring at a crisis.
“We extend our thanks to you for your much needed support for resumption mining in Goa in 2015 and subsequently reducing the export duty for low grade iron ore progressively in 2016,” the letter to the PMO said.
The body further said mining in state has existed for for over 70 years. The sector has given employment to lakhs of people and generates huge amount of revenue.
Even before the District Mineral Fund came into effect in 2015, mining companies in state voluntarily contributed towards sustainable development through mineral foundation of Goa and have been responsible in societal development by setting up infrastructure such as bridges, educational institutions and medical facilities.
The impact will not be just confined to Goa but on entire India, the body said.
“It will impact India’s image as an investment destination. Send a negative message and shake investor confidence. It is also significantly impact India’s efforts for higher ranks in ease of doing business,” the body said.
The abrupt stoppage of mining will also increase the NPAs of financial institution from loans advanced to various entities for purchase of mining machinery, trucks and bargers.
Timblo also said that it will also hit the iron ore supply for steel making and highlighted that India has set a target of 300 MT.
In its February 7 order, the apex court quashed the second renewal of 88 iron ore mining leases in Goa in 2015, saying the sole motive of the companies behind the commercial activity was profit maximisation and no social purpose was attached to it.
The top court held as illegal the renewal given to the companies, by holding that the move was against the earlier decisions and orders of the apex court which in 2014 had said that the state government was required to grant fresh mining leases and not to give second renewal.
It directed the Centre and the Goa government to grant fresh environmental clearances to them and asked the state to take necessary steps to grant fresh mining leases in accordance with the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
The court said it was giving time till March 15 to mining lease holders, who have been granted a second renewal in violation of its previous directions, to manage their affairs.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.