New Delhi: Industry associations on Tuesday raised concerns over the worsening financial situation of Goa with each passing day on account of mining ban in the state and called for immediate resumption of the activity.
Mining in Goa came to a complete halt in 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed the second renewal of iron ore mining leases given to 88 companies in Goa in 2015.
According to Goa Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) President Ralph De Sousa, “The financial situation worsens with every passing day with the Goa mining ban continuing with no firm solution but hope of a major decision by the government to restart mining.”
He claimed that the state’s financial institutions were facing a rise in non-performing assets and the immediate resumption of mining can provide relief to the “stressed situation” in Goa.
Goa’s main economic pillar i.e mining continues to lie in suspension for several years which causes not just economic concerns but also causes hardships to those dependent on it, Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA) Secretary Glenn Kalavampara said.
“Ease of doing business has been affected & further casts apathy on the industrial sector on how operations, infrastructure, markets, foreign exchange, value addition built up from scratch, entirely by the industry be allowed to deteriorate with time,” he said.
The local industry as well as other chambers have repeatedly raised concerns and desired solutions expected to be taken from the government. “Keeping in mind sustainability, mining needs to resume at the earliest,” he said.
With an alarming decline in Goa’s economic growth, the state government can no longer afford to sit on the issue of mining ban, industry experts said.
According to the Economic Survey released by the Directorate of Planning, Statistics and Evaluation, Goa’s economy grew by a mere 1.6 per cent in 2020-21.
The state’s economy is heavily dependent on manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, and mining. While the first two sectors showed a clear decline during the assessment period, the inflow of both national and foreign tourists was curtailed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The survey observes that during the pandemic period, the tourism-related businesses came down to almost zero. On the other hand, mining operations have stayed suspended in Goa for more than four years.