PANAJI: Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF), an umbrella organisation of mining dependents, in a letter to the State Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant has raised strong objection to grant of fresh iron ore mining leases fearing that the same will bring in outside players.
In their Budget 2021-22 suggestion to the Chief Minister, the GMPF has also objected to auction mode for grant of leases as the process is time consuming.
GMPF chief Puti Goankar said that The Supreme Court has rendered all second renewals of mining leases as illegal and a direction is given to the State to grant fresh mining leases in accordance with the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act 1957.
” If the route for issuing fresh mining leases is taken then it will not be possible for existing lease holders to operate their mines and this will bring in outside players,” Gaonkar said in the submission.
He further said that granting fresh leases by way of an auction itself will take a huge amount of time which will delay the restart of any mining activity within the state thereby impacting our economy which is dependent on mining.
The mining in Goa has been shut since March 2018 following the Supreme Court order.
Gaonkar claimed that the Apex Court has not taken into account the rights of the lease holders under the Goa, Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration As Mining Leases) Act, 1987.
He said that the Abolition Act grants a special status to the mining leases/concessions which were prevailing in the State of Goa since Portuguese times and also grants special rights to the lease holders.