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Push for Goa mining

Picking up pace

Panaji, June 7 (PTI): The drafting of a new mining policy, which is mandatory to resume iron ore extraction and exports from Goa, should be expedited so that the key industry gets back on its feet, according to stakeholders.

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier said the policy would be drafted by June-end, but the stakeholders felt the government should fasttrack the process so that the mining industry, which has been reeling under a Supreme Court ban for the last two years, can resume operations.

The ban, which has now been lifted, and a halt in mining operations had resulted in a loss of jobs and revenue to both companies and the state exchequer, they said.

“Everybody dependent on the mining industry hopes the activity resumes immediately. It’s up to the state government to make it happen. I don’t understand why the chief minister is delaying the process (of policy formulation),” Suhas Naik, convenor of Goa Mining People’s Front, said.

The front is a body representing people affected by suspension of mining activity in Goa. The mining industry has been facing allegations of rampant illegalities, leading to the ban in 2012.

The ban was lifted in April by the apex court, which gave powers to the state government to regulate the industry.

The SC order had also declared the exports since last five years as illegal and cancelled mining leases which were not renewed after 2007, rendering them as state property.

 
 
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