PANAJI: The Goa government should not count the revenue received from the recent e-auctioning of iron ore mining leases and should instead park it for future generations, environmental campaigner Claude Alvares has said.
He was speaking at the launch of a book on the Goa mining case on Wednesday.
“Please note that before 2009, the Goa government got Rs 20 crore in mining which went up to Rs 900 crore in 2009 and continued to remain the same till mining was shut down as the prices were changed by the Central government,” he said.
With the e-auctioning of just four leases, the government will earn Rs 32,805 crore, Alvares said. He demanded that the state government deposit this money in the Goa Iron Ore Permanent Fund.
“This money does not belong to the government. This is the value of the ore which is lying in the ground. Our ancestors gave it to us and we have to hand it over to our children,” said Alvares, who is the director of non-profit Goa Foundation that fought a long battle in the Supreme Court against illegal mining in the coastal state.
He said the apex court has mandated that 10 per cent of the earning from the auctioning should be deposited in the Goa Iron Ore Permanent Fund.
Alvares said that the total value of the ore auctioned is Rs 43,602 crore of which Rs 32,805 crore will come to the government in the form of auction premiums.
“This fund is meant for future generations as the Goa government cannot touch it,” he said. The permanent fund currently has Rs 500 crore and with the current auctioning, another Rs 4,319 crore would be added to it, he added.