Thursday, February 4, 2021

Seeks PM Modi’s Intervention For Restarting Mining To Tackle Goa’s Job Crisis

* GMPF accuses Goa Foundation of derailing state’s mining operations

* If remedial steps not taken, Goa’s Fourth Consecutive Mining Year will go futile

* Requests Central government to consider legislative amendments in Goa Daman and Diu concession abolition Act 1987 for immediate restart of Goa Mining

* Expresses concern about Goa's increasing unemployment rate and continuous decline in Goa's Growth rate, which is well behind the National Growth rate

Goa Mining People’s Front, the umbrella body fighting for resumption of mining operations in Goa, has said that irresponsible actions of Goa Foundation has brought Goa’s mining industry to a complete standstill that has led to loss of over 3 Lakh livelihoods and complete collapse of the state economy. GMPF has also sought urgent intervention of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi for resumption of mining in Goa or else the state runs the risk of losing its fourth consecutive mining year due to the ban imposed by Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.

During the recent meeting of Goa mining dependents in South Goa, the GMPF condemned Goa Foundation for intentionally creating repeated hurdles in resumption of mining activities. It also stressed upon Goa Foundation to push for immediate resumption of Goa mining during the upcoming court hearing.

In response to Central Govt Notice dated 24 August 2020 posted by Ministry of Mines on its website for public consultation called, “Note on Proposal for Mining Reforms”, the GMPF had suggested to the Central Government to consider amendments to The Goa Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration of Mining Leases) Act by making this abolition act prospective from 1987. This suggestion was in line with State of Goa, which has written to the Union Government on multiple occasion since 2018 for legislative cure/amendment, which shall extend the period of Lease until 2037 by making Abolition Act Prospective (i.e. 50 Years as mandated under MMDR Act 2015).

While Addressing the meeting GMPF President Mr. Puti Gaonkar, said, “ We were hopeful that in the reforms package for Atmanirbhar Bharat for Mining Sector, the Centre would consider amendment to the Goa Daman and Diu Abolition Act. However, we understand the same was not a part of it. Goa’s mining industry and the livelihood of lakhs of mining dependent population has been neglected in the last three years. We wonder why Goa Foundation is active only in opposing development projects in the State. Is the Goa Foundation representing driving agenda of external forces, which want to see us Goans poor and impoverished?

Balaji Gauns from Dharbandora Taluka Truck Owner's Association said, "As a representative of Panchayats, we also demand immediate action from the Union Home Ministry on our representation where we have sought investigation into financial dealings and other aspects of Goa Foundation. We suspect a strong foreign hand behind them who want to destabilise our country and State.”

Over the past three years, mining dependents have met and submitted various appeals/representations/memorandums seeking intervention and action from the authorities at the State and Centre level including Honourable President of India, Honourable Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, Union Mines Minister, Union Law Minister, Chief Minister of Goa, various MP’s cutting across party lines, and bureaucrats at Centre and State to take note of the plight of the people of Goa..

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