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Impossible to stop impending closure of mines Sardesai

Impossible to stop impending closure of mines Sardesai

12 Mar 2018 No comment 18 hits

Porvorim: The ongoing crisis that has gripped the state due to the impending closure of mining operations resembles an emergency-like situation and the state government can only partially resolve the matter, said town and country planning minister and GFP president Vijai Sardesai, on Monday.
Sardesai said the closure of the decades old mining industry was a crisis that was further aggravated by the absence of Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who holds the mining portfolio.

“It is impossible to fully resolve it. An economy which is at least 100 years old is being suddenly brought to a halt. God alone can solve it. There is a complete ecosystem around mining,” Sardesai said after meeting mining stakeholders. The minister met with representatives of the All Goa Barge Owners’ Association, mining machinery owners, and All Goa Truck Owners’ Association.

The various associations voiced their woes and urged the state government to ensure that transportation of extracted ore should continue.

“What has already been extractedcan be transported. Let government file a review petition for postponing the judgement, at least in the short term, from March 15 to March 31,” said spokesperson All Goa Barge Owners Association Atul Jadhav.

Though the minister provided the mining stakeholders a patient ear, he did not see any possibility of a resolution to the “crisis situation” by March 15. Three Goa BJP MPs are expected to meet national BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday to try and find a solution.

“For all practical purposes, mining will come to a halt on March 16. These things may start within the next six months or they will take two more,” Sardesai said.

Sardesai did promise to discuss with chief secretary Dharmendra Sharma the possibility of partial compliance with the Supreme Court order. The decision to file a review petition before the SC should be taken by the state law department, but the move was unlikely to provide any relief, Sardesai said.

“The government can comply with certain things and on some things we can say that we will comply in due course of time. We will take the issue of partial compliance with the chief secretary,” he said.

The minister also promised to take up the issue of a further extension of the debt relief scheme for mining-affected firms. “The demand of the All Goa Barge Owners’ Association is for extension of the debt relief scheme, which is for one-time settlement of mining related loans and to extend it beyond March 31. They are not in a position to pay the loan instalments. I can pursue this with the chief secretary about extending the debt relief scheme,” he said.

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