Aam Aadmi Party has cautiously welcomed the recently passed bill to form the Goa Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC), while challenging the BJP Govt to clarify glaring issues and prove that it has real intention is to ensure maximum benefit to Goa and Goans. It may be recalled that, during courtesy visit of State Convener Rahul Mhambre to the Raj Bhavan this month, Mhambre had appealed to the Hon. Governor of Goa to give his assent to the bill and exhort Sawant Govt to take all steps required to resume mining activities at the earliest.
Mhambre reminded that the Aam Aadmi Party, in its 2017 manifesto, was the first party to have proposed the formation of the GMDC, and had assured to make Goa the “First corruption-free and pollution-free mining state” in the entire country.
Pointing out some major flaws in the bill, State Convenor Rahul Mhambre questioned whether the BJP Govt has taken the GMDC seriously, or has just passed a bill in a hurry to give false hope to mining dependents before elections.
“In the memorandum attached to the bill, the Govt shockingly estimates that establishment of the Corporation will involve financial implication of only Rs. 5 Crores. This amount is inadequate by a huge degree. Has the CM Sawant actually studied the scale and scope of the operations required to run mining activity? Or is this bill just a carrot to be dangled before mining dependents in order to get their votes in the upcoming assembly elections and then abandon them again? If mining activity is not started before elections, this will expose Sawant’s intention to make GMDC just another election Jumla”, Mhambre questioned.
Mhambre also demanded clarification on whether the GMDC would be the sole authority through which mining would be carried out in Goa, or will it be just another player along with the established lobby which had created the mining imbroglio in the first place.
Aam Aadmi Party has always been in favour of sustainable mining for the interest of people of Goa and the state. The mining of the natural resources that the state is endowed with should benefit the next generation. Mhambre questioned, “why there are no representative from environmental scientist and metallurgy experts in the composition of the Board of the Corporation. The Board of GMDC must have balanced composition so that all stakeholders are consulted and involved to have a sustainable mining in Goa.”
Mhambre said that the GMDC was an excellent opportunity to provide employment, and urged the Govt to take immediate steps in this regard.
“The GMDC can absorb the employees who were laid off by the private firms, as they are qualified and experienced enough to ensure immediate resumption of mining operations. The GMDC should also speedily engage the machinery, truck, barge and other ancillary service providers, so that the entire mining ecosystem can be revitalised which will give a boost to the overall economy of Goa as well”, Mhambre said.
“The current bill and the current BJP Govt fall far short in achieving this goal. But in order to provide a much-needed boost to the state’s economy and employment, we propose immediate resumption of mining activities through the GMDC. Subsequent amendments and improvements can be made, with an aim to bringing in more transparency & efficiency, setting up of a Permanent fund for future generations, and exploration of minor minerals to augment the GMDC’s revenues”, Mhambre concluded.