Kolkata: Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF) on Monday appealed for resumption of mining on completion of two years of a ban on mining activities in the state. GMPF said the recent global outbreak of Covid -19 has further aggravated the state’s economy with a drastic fall in number of tourists, which along with mining, has been the mainstay of Goa’s economy.
“With both the mining and tourism sectors witnessing a bleak future, full scale mining operations should immediately commence,” GMPF said in an official statement. Mining activities in Goa came to a standsill with effect from March 16, 2018 which has affected over 3 lakh Goan livelihoods resulting in job losses and severe and unemployment in the state.
Over the past two years, GMPF delegations’ have met and submitted various appeals/representations/memorandums seeking intervention and action from the authorities at State and Centre for the early resumption of mining in the state. GMPF has among others met and briefed the President of India, the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, Union Mines Minister, Union Law Minister, Chief Minister of Goa, various MP’s cutting across party lines, and bureaucrats at the Centre and state.
Puti Gaonkar, President–GMPF said: ” lGoa has two major job providing sectors: one is mining which has been stopped since last 2 years resulting into 3 lakh livelihood losses in the state and another is tourism. With the Covid-19 outbreak across the world, tourism in Goa has also dropped to a great extent and the tourist footfalls are likely to dwindle down further to a trickle. These issues cannot be neglected as it may cost peoples’ future.” In the current scenario, resumption of mining activities is the only quantifiable solution which can save the economic condition of Goans along with the state, he added.
The abrupt stoppage of mining industry has resulted in a loss of revenue of over Rs 7,000 crore to the state exchequer over the last 2 years and substantial drop in per capita income of the state, the statement said.