Monday 17 December 2018

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Economy | Mining

Compete with outsiders: CM's challenge to mining trucks

 

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has thrown up a challenge before Goa’s mining trucks to compete with trucks operated from outside the state, in iron ore transportation.

What it means is that the Goa government has simply refused to prohibit trucks coming from outside Goa to transport the iron ore.

The demand to prohibit was made by BJP MLA Subhash Phaldesai, himself a truck operator.

“They charge much less than Goa’s truck owners”, said Phaldesai, while raising the issue in the Assembly today.

His contention was that the Goan truck owners had to charge more since they had to pay GPS charges, which the outside truck owners were not paying.

“I will abolish the GPS charges”, Parsekar found the solution.

The CM was firm on not prohibiting the outside trucks stating that the truck owners are stretching it too far.

“They even fight on not allowing truck owners from one village to another, just like tourist taxi operators, Speaker Sir”, he told the House.

Parsekar also reminded the House that Goa government has done more than enough by paying compensation to the truck owners for the loss during mining ban period and had even worked out the best possible one-time-settlement for the bank loans they had taken.

“Now you compete with them in the market. I can’t ban outside trucks within the country. Remember our trucks also go out”, he said.

The CM also did not pay attention to Dr Pramod Sawant, his another party colleague from the mining constituency of Sankhli, that only transport contractors registered with the Mines department be allowed to operate in Goa.

The transportation issue confronts the truck owners right now, even before mining operations start, to carry the iron ore auctioned by the government.

While 5.647 million tonnes of iron ore has been purchased in altogether six e-auctions taken place till now, he said 3.16 MT of ore is still lying at different places.

“Main problem in not lifting this iron ore is the price fallen in the international market besides few local problems”, said Parsekar.

He however seemed confident of starting mining operations by October, contrary to the action of several mining lease owners, who have started retrenching their workers. 






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