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Decision on mines’ auction only after SC decision: Goa CM

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Decision on mines' auction only after SC decision: Goa CM

Panaji, Jan 28 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that the state government could only take a call on the auctioning of mining leases after the matter is decided by the Supreme Court.

“The decision on auctioning of mining blocks could only be taken after the finalisation of the matter before the Supreme Court,” Sawant said in a written reply to a question by independent MLA Prasad Gaonkar, at the ongoing winter session of the Legislative Assembly.

The Chief Minister, who also holds the mines portfolio, said that the state government in consultation with the Centre has already filed review petitions in the Apex court urging it to take a relook at its 2018 order which had quashed 88 mining leases in Goa, citing irregularities in the lease renewal process.

“The same are pending before the Supreme Court,” Sawant told the Assembly.’

The Chief Minister said that his government was not in a position to give a timeframe for atarting the state’s beleaguered mining industry because the matter was in the domain of the apex court.

The mining issue has been hanging fire in Goa, ever since the Supreme Court in 2018, citing irregularities in the processes adopted by the state government to renew 88 mining leases scrapped the leases.

As a result of the order all fresh ore extraction activity has stopped, bringing the industry to a standstill.

The stoppage in 2018 is the second time in less than a decade that all mining in the state has come to a standstill. It was banned the first time in 2012 after a judicial commission exposed a Rs 35,000 crore mining scam, indicting top mining companies as well as politicians and bureaucrats.

–IANS

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