Friday 14 December 2018

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Economy | Mining

Goa paves way for auctioning mining leases; but favours existing miners

 

‘No renewal of Portuguese-granted mining leases anymore but auctioning it’ is now the law; but only on paper.

The existing 89 leases would continue till 2027 while Goa government does not know when they would auction new leases.

Following Supreme Court judgement, Goa cabinet today formally withdrew its two-year old Goa Grant of Mining Leases Policy 2014, paving way for auction of mining leases.

It’s because President of India has promulgated, on 26 March 2015, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Amendment Act, 2015, as per the Supreme Court order passed on 21 April 2014.

Meanwhile, Goa’s BJP government had gone ahead with the new mining lease policy, granting leases to traditional lease holders, who had actually come under scanner of Shah Commission that probed Goa’s illegal mining.

“These leases would remain till 2027, we have to auction now the new leases”, said Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

Will the government auction the new leases by clearing pending applications?

 

“There is a problem due to capping of 20 million MT on extraction of iron ore”, says Deputy Chief Minister Francisco D’Souza, supporting his boss.

With the year ended today, hardly any mine could start extracting the ore this year though officially around 15 mines have started, says CM.

“As the mining season ends by May, I feel actual extraction activity would start only after monsoons”, he says.

Parsekar also claims that he would withdraw the mining leases if the lease holders do not start mining after the season starts from October.

But it was a clear indication today that the BJP government does not want to auction the remaining leases by reducing production capacity; advantage the existing traditional mining lease holders! 






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