About one-third of Goa’s population depends on mining for their livelihood
Sesa Goa, a Vedanta Group company has asked Finance Minister P Chidambaram for his intervention and has requested him to pull off the imposed ban on mining activity in Goa. The company has urged the finance minister to make smooth coordination between various government departments, so that the imposed mining ban issue can be resolved in the Supreme Court easily.
“We request for your support in all spheres of central government, so that the matter gets quickly resolved in the Supreme Court and thereafterall ministries like Mines Ministry, MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests) and the state government can take necessary action… to permit resumption of mining as soon as possible,” stated Sesa Goa’s Managing Director P K Mukherjee in a letter to the Finance Minister.
P K Mukherjee has also said that Goa’s economy has been suffering for the last 10 months due to the ban in mining activity which has caused severe economic and social distress to the people of Goa. It is to be noted that one-third of Goa’s population depends on mining activity for their livelihood. The state government and the industries in Goa have taken several steps to ensure legal mining in the state.
On account of the mining ban, Goa’s mining industry has lost business from its consumer markets like China, Japan and South Korea to competitors from other parts of the world. At present over 11 million tons of iron ore are lying stocked which has posed severe environmental threats.
Before the ban was imposed in Goa, Sesa Goa used to be the largest iron ore mining firm in the private sector, which incorporated a production of about 14 million tons (MnT). Goa used to export over 40 MnT iron ore before the levy of the ban. The ban on the mining activity was first imposed by the state government in September last year as a result of a report by Justice M B Shah Commission, which incurred a loss of about Rs 35,000 crore due to illegal mining. The Supreme Court in October, 2011, had put a complete ban on mining and transportation of the minerals while hearing a PIL.