Dona Paula: The Financial package for the people affected due to closure of mining activity in Goa was one of the common demand placed by all the political parties in the State before the members of Finance Commission.
The Iron Ore mining activity in the State has come to a standstill since February 2018 after Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases.
The 15th Finance Commission led by N K Singh began holding series of meetings in Goa from Thursday.
Ruling BJP and opposition Congress and Goa Forward Party (GFP) in their representation to the Finance Commission has stressed for the financial package for the people affected with the closure of mining industry.
BJP Goa Unit President Sadanand Tanavade demanded financial package of Rs 300 crore for the mining dependents.
“At the time it was banned, mining was Goa’s largest industry. This decision had an enormous socio-economic impact. The economy of Goan State was dependent on mining. More than 60,000 were employed directly,” reads the representation.
“After mining in Goa came to a halt, the economy has been affected, workers are suffering and there is no income,” BJP has said.
“Mining sector, which contributed heavily to the total non-tax revenue of the State in 2010-11, now accounts for only a negligible share in the non-tax revenue of the State. The closure of mining activities has also contributed to large scale unemployment,” Tanavade said.
“The Government is making all efforts in resumption of mining activities in the State. In addition various schemes have been implemented by the State Government for the Welfare of Mining Affected people,” the ruling party said. Tanvade requested that necessary steps may be taken to resume mining activities to reduce the unemployment rate and also to contribute towards the State exchequer.
“Also it is proposed that an amount of Rs. 300 crore may be sanctioned for the State towards the implementation of activities for the Welfare of Mining Affected people till the mining operations are resumed in the State,” he added.
Congress party has said that the Finance Commission should consider the aspects like closure of mining activity and slowdown of tourism while allotting the share to the state government.
“With recession in tourism and closure of mines the state of Goa is facing an unprecedented economic and social crisis at present. The commission must understand that the allocation for 2020-25 period need to be absolutely realistic as Goa is staring at a very uncertain future despite generously contributing to revenue of central government in past 58 years,” the Congress party Goa chief Girish Chodankar said.
“The formula of allocating grants had never favoured Goa. The Commission therefore needs to carefully look at limited resources of the state, record unemployment, collapse of agriculture and fisheries and rising public debt among other burning issues,” he added.
Goa Forward Party has demanded Rs 6,000 crore as compensation for the mining affected people.
GFP President Vijai Sardesai said that the State government has asking “peanuts” like Rs 300 crore (for mining) from the central government. “We should ask for more as the money which we are asking is actually from the royalty that we have paid to the centre,” he said.