Goan Mining Industry collapse would spell disaster and cripple state economy: GMOEA
- Ban will cripple the local economy
- Thousands will be rendered jobless
- Welcomes any steps to curb irregularities in Mining sector
New Delhi, November 21, 2011: Goa Mineral Ore Exporters’ Association (GMOEA), the representative body of the iron ore mining and export companies of Goa, expressed concerns over the possible ban of Iron Ore Exports from the state as reported in certain sections of media & highlighted the cascading effect of such a ban.
Mr. Shivanand Salgaocar, President, Goa Mineral Ore Exporters’ Association (GMOEA), said, “The Goan Mining Industry contributes approximately 35 percent of the state’s GDP. Mining as an industry attracts Rs. 17,000 crores in form of foreign exchange & brings Rs.6, 000 crores in form of direct revenues to the State and the Central government.”
“Close to 75,000 people depend on mining & allied activities to earn their daily bread and butter. Any move to prohibit iron ore exports from Goa will not only be detrimental to the interest of these people but will also severely hit close to 18,000 trucks and 360 barge owners connected with this industry. An impact of this size could lead to an economic blackout in the state. “Salgaocar stressed.
Traditionally, the iron ore industry in Goa has been export oriented. Over the last few years, with a surge in demand from China, the industry has grown at a fanatic pace. This has led to a host of traders and fly-by-night operators who entered the industry with a short term profit motive & paid scant regard to accountability, sustainability, infrastructure and environmental concerns. This, to a great extent, has tarnished the image of iron ore mining in the state & brought disrepute to the entire industry.
“The Association doesn’t deny that there are certain illegalities in mining sector and in particular in the spectrum of exports in this state. In-fact the industry itself wants these black sheep to be identified & brought to justice. We believe that there is an urgent need to strengthen the monitoring apparatus under the regulations, for all activities related to mining, transportation and exports. Once the proper systems and accountabilities for monitoring are in place, all offenders will be automatically identified & eradicated. However, a blanket ban on the industry can never be a solution since it will lead to a destabilization of Goa’s economic apparatus. These social & economic dimensions need to be addressed before arriving at any decision about the future of this industry.” Mr. P.K. Mukherjee, Managing Director, Sesa Goa Limited said.
“The long term players in the industry have over the years contributed significantly towards development of infrastructure, education facilities, health-care & community-empowerment in this state. It is imperative to protect the business interest of all such players including us. Goan miners will lose markets in Japan, Korea Europe etc. besides China, established over decades of efforts. We do not know if there is any foreign funding behind all the activism against Goan mining. When the country wants to invite huge investment in the mining sector through various provisions in the proposed MMRD Act, such negative painting of all miners with the same brush may do more harm than good in the medium to long term”, Mukherjee added.
Since 1963, Goa Mineral Ore Exporters’ Association members (GMOEA) members have been engaged in mining operations in the state of Goa. The Association has always worked closely with the society in a responsible manner ensuring co-existence and growth for all.
“Since decades, Mining has been the backbone of Goan Economy. The industry is instrumental in providing jobs, business, and livelihood and employment opportunities for Goans. Atleast 25% percent of Goan population is dependent on the mining industry.” as stated by Mr. Ambar Timblo, Managing Director of Fomento Resources
“At a time when the Indian economy is grappling with global recession and domestic inflation, the Goan Mining Industry collapse would spell disaster and any intent to impose ban on mining activities in Goa will collapse the state economy. Rs 1000 crore royalty to Government of Goa in form of Sales Tax/VAT on Diesel/Oils/spare parts and hundreds of crores of rupees of revenue will dry up making a huge impact on the financial position of the state. All trucks and barges will be redundant with corresponding effect on livelihood of about half a million people”, Mr. Timblo added.