Saturday, 16 February, 2019

CM rules out ‘nationalised’ mining

13th February 2018, 04:26 Hrs

the goan I network
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has virtually ruled out going down the path of ‘nationalised’ mining through a state-run corporation saying that such a move will invite multiple problems for the government.  
The CM who spoke to journalists over the way forward after the recent SC order said that it increasingly looked that auction was the only process that appeared to meet all the criteria. “A corporation is out of the question as to monitor the functioning of the corporation will invite multiple problems for the government,” Parrikar said.  
Referring to the demand that there be only traditional Goan miners who should be allowed to be given the fresh leases especially from the opposition Congress and the ruling partner the Goa Forward, Parrikar said the question of limiting the auction to existing players should have probity questions of its own.  “How can you limit who takes part in the auction. If that is the case then is it even an auction?” Parrikar asked while saying that there was a possibility that certain conditions be included which requires the winning bidders to get their operations up and running quickly.
Parrikar said that the government’s final stance could be made known in the upcoming budget session of the Goa Legislative assembly and that while the Government wasn’t staring at significant revenue losses, those dependent on the industry could be affected.  
Earlier in November last year, Goa Foundation’s Claude Alvares too had cautioned against an auction.   “160 iron ore leases from Goa will expire in 2020. It’s not advisable to auction these leases because auction has not made the best money. In e-auction of ore in the last one year, there was an auction when ore’s rate was Rs 1,500 per ton ne and then there was another when the rate fell to Rs 500 per tonne. You don’t conduct auctions when the rate is less,” Alvares had said, adding, “Let the leases remain with a government corporation. Don’t give it (leases) to a private party.”