Fresh mining leases can be issued in 6 months: Parrikar

first_imgGoa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has said that fresh mining leases could be issued tentatively within six months with due process.The Chief Minister was addressing a press conference at the State Secretariat on Thursday, a day after the Supreme Court cancelled all 88 ore mining leases citing irregularities in the second renewal process. “Six months should be the target, from March, subject to no hurdles and problems in between. I have told you that the State is examining all options,” Mr. Parrikar said. He added that the State would not face any financial setback due to the apex court’s decision. “The damage is temporary. There is not much of a loss to the government. As far as financial impact on the State goes [it will be around] ₹300 to ₹400 crore. We can bear it. Next year income from [the mining sector] will be ₹300 to ₹400 crore. There is material still available in balance from e-auctions. We can auction that,” Mr. Parrikar said. He admitted, however, that there would definitely be an impact on those depending on the mining industry, and said the government will work fast to start mining with proper procedure.Mr. Parrikar said the leases were renewed for a second time based on directions from the Bombay High Court at Goa. “The Supreme Court has set aside that decision, saying that the High Court did not interpret their judgement [of cancelling the leases] properly,” he said. Mr. Parrikar refused to confirm if the State government would auction the leases, saying that he needs to study the legal aspects. He also said that as per the apex court’s order, while mining has been banned from March 15, there was nothing to stop mining companies from exporting the ore already extracted, which is stacked on transportation jetties and other plots outside the lease areas. “[The lease-holders] have been permitted to extract up to March 15. So obviously that ore will belong to them, subject to the condition that they pay the royalty, District Mineral Fund, everything,” Mr. Parrikar said. He said there is no ban on export. The Supreme Court order has also asked about recovery of State dues from miners. Mr. Parrikar said the State has already started the process to recover dues from mining companies after exhaustive audit by chartered accountants.last_img

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