The Goa iron ore industry has said that stopping iron ore mining in the state will adversely affect revenues worth Rs 3,400 crore.
The Goa Mineral Ore Exporters’ Association (GMOEA), in a letter to chief minister Manohar Parrikar, has said that the Supreme Court ruling will result in loss of direct and indirect employment of about 60,000 people. “It will lead go financial liabilities for these small families in term of various loans and borrowings,” the letter dated February 13, 2018, said.
The Supreme Court recently cancelled 88 iron ore licences in Goa where these lease holders have now been told to stop operating by March 16 and apply afresh for leases.
The GMOEA said that the abrupt stoppage of mining will create technical economic hurdles with safety impacts of the mining pits.
There is also a risk to mounting loan defaults. “Loan amounts which have been advanced to various entities/individuals for purchase of mining machinery/trucks/barges as their earning potential would be reduced greatly thereby increasing the non-performing assets (NPAs) of financial institutions,” the letter said.
The total contribution of mining (despite the present cap of 20 million tonne) and its activities to Goa’s gross domestic product (GDP) may still be over 10-12 percent, said GMOEA.
In October 2012, the Supreme Court, based on the findings of the Justice M B Shah Commission report, which estimated a Rs 35,000-crore loss to the exchequer due to alleged illegal mining over 12 years, had banned mining in all 90 mines in Goa.
The apex court had lifted the ban in April 2014, but put an annual cap of 20 million tonnes on excavation.
The GMOEA said that the evolution of Goa’s iron ore mining industry “and its manifold impact on the state’s socio-economic milieu has been well publicized in the past and has been one of the biggest earners of foreign exchange to the state exchequer.”
“We, therefore, request that the genuine concerns of the industry should and ought to be addressed at the highest forum to not only overcome the adverse impacts of the economy of the state in particular but also to protect the livelihood of the mining dependent people of the state,” GMOEA said.