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Goa News – Times of India: ‘Explore options to restart mining operations’ |

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PANAJI: The Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) has asked the Centre to consider all options for immediate resumption of mining.
GMPF president Puti Gaonkar said that Goa has lost Rs 7,000 crore in the last two years due to the closure of the iron ore mining industry. He said that if mining does not resume, the government will find it difficult to get the state’s finances in order.
“GMPF has suggested that the central government should consider amendments to ‘The Goa Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration of Mining Leases Act, 1987), by making this abolition act prospective from 1987 by amending it from the current provision of it being retrospective,” said Gaonkar while expressing happiness over the Centre’s move to bring in reforms in the mining sector.
“We have suggested the above addition in the reforms in the mineral sector, to bring about equality for the state of Goa and place it at par with other states to extend the leases as per MMDR Act amendment 2015,” he said.
Gaonkar said that the current inequality allows all other states to extend mining leases for a period of 50 years, which Goa is not allowed to do. If the amendment is brought in, it will accelerate growth, increase employment and stimulate Goa’s economy.
Gaonkar’s statements come two days after chief minister Pramod Sawant said that the state may consider auctioning mining leases to restart the sector.
Gaonkar said the government should use the District Mineral Fund to create employment, encourage agricultural schemes, skill trainings, other specialised educational programmes, providing micro finance and credit to local entrepreneurs, self-help groups for encouraging the growth of an entrepreneurial ventures thus creating alternative source of livelihood.

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