Goa govt firm on auctioning of mines: Sawant

by IANS |

Panaji, Dec 8 (IANS) The state government is firm on auctioning mining leases in the state to restart the beleaguered mining industry in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters at the State Secretariat, Sawant also said that the rules related to the process of setting up a state government-operated mining corporation and auctioning had been sent to the state government's Law department for finalisation.

"We have taken 100 per cent steps for (restarting) mining. The rules have been sent to the law department. We are going for auctioning, the government is firm," Sawant said.

Last month, the Goa government had roped in the State Bank of India to facilitate the auction of "six to eight" iron ore mining blocks by December 15.

The Goa government has already appointed the Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited, a central government concern, for exploration of the nearly 90 mining leases in the state for mineral prospects.

The auctioning of the iron ore mineral blocks will be carried out under the aegis of the newly formed Goa Mineral Development Corporation, which was formed earlier this year as a step towards restarting of the mining industry.

Fresh mining excavation in the state has been shut down since 2018, when the Supreme Court of India scrapped renewal of 88 mining leases citing irregularities.

The Goa government's decision to opt for the auctioning route to restart mining comes ahead of the 2022 state Assembly polls and the ruling BJP-led coalition dispensation has come under fire for not being able to restart the mining sector which when at its peak accounted for nearly 30 percent of the state's gross domestic product.

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