The Navhind Times Archive

Auctioning of mining leases could be way forward: CM

PANAJI: Stating that the government is presently studying various aspects of the recent Supreme Court order as regards quashing of the second renewal of iron ore mining leases given to 88 companies in Goa in 2015, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday stated that the government is not in favour of forming the state mining corporation in order to handle the mining leases, and that auctioning of mining leases seems to be the only way ahead.

Speaking to a group of reporters, Parrikar informed that the government has found variations in the earlier mining-related orders of the apex court.

“The government was in favour of auctioning the mining leases, however had to renew them in 2015 due to a High Court order,” he clarified.

Touching upon the issue of formation of the state mining corporation, Parrikar, who also holds the mining and geology portfolio, said the particular proposal cannot be viable for the government as it would invite multiple problems.

“Now, as the things stand, the only option as regards the mining leases appears to be their auction for resolving the mining imbroglio existing in the state,” he noted, opining, “The disadvantage of auction is that the government cannot restrain anyone from participation in the auctioning.”

The Chief Minister said the Congress party had itself demanded limiting the handing over of the mining leases to Goans.

“And now how can its leaders criticise the government for renewal of mining leases in 2015,” he questioned.

Parrikar also said the government wants the mining leases disposed of as early as possible, with the mining activities resuming at the earliest. “I feel that the government will not face any major revenue impact, but mining dependants could face the heat of the Supreme Court order,” he added.

Incidentally, the Chief Minister and some of the major mining lease holders from Goa recently held a meeting in the presence of additional solicitor general of India Atmaram Nadkarni to identify the problems faced by them.

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