If leases auctioned, outsiders will ‘exploit’ Goa’s mines: Former CM

Panaji, Feb 16 : Congress lawmaker and former Goa Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane on Friday asked the state's BJP-led coalition government to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against its order cancelling 88 mining leases to ensure that they are not auctioned.

Rane said that auctioning of Goa's mines should not be allowed for fear of outsiders exploiting state's resources.

"We are of the firm opinion that mines should not be auctioned.

Anyone will come from outside and they will exploit as they like," Rane said, after a meeting of Congress legislators ahead of the upcoming state assembly session.

"Government shoud file review petition in Supreme Court to ensure that," he said.

On February 7, the Supreme Court cancelled all existing iron ore mining leases in Goa and ordered that the mining tracts should be leased afresh, to new licencees after obtaining new environmental clearances.

As per the order, all ore extraction activity on the renewed leases should cease by March 15.

Goa is the country's leading exporter of low-grade iron ore and exported nearly 50 million tonnes before the Shah Commission in 2012 exposed a Rs 35,000 crore scam, triggering a ban on mining in the state.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has already said that the government was willing to explore all options to lease out mining tracts anew, including the auction route.



Source: IANS