The common language used by the Chief Minister, the Governor and the GMOEA in their frantic appeals to the Centre to find a “legislative cure” to the mining ban, once again demonstrates the vice-like grip that the powerful Mining lobby has over a supposedly democratically elected government.
The mining industry, which has been in self-imposed turmoil since 2012 due to the Supreme Court cracking down on brazen illegalities, has the capacity to bail Goa out of the current economic crisis due to the lockdown. But it requires the Government to break free of the mining lobby’s chains, and itself begin sustainable, controlled, clean mining through a Mineral Development Corporation. This option of a Corporation had even gained traction in the months before the coronavirus crisis, but now it appears that the rapacious mining lobby is working through the Govt to push legislative amendments that would undermine the SC verdicts and retain its own influence to pillage Goa of its resources again.
If one wants, the current crisis can be looked upon as a rare opportunity to take radical decisions such as state-owned mining that would immensely benefit the people and the economy. But can we expect such governance by a CM who hails from the mining belt and allegedly has a stake himself in the lobby-owned mining business?