Goa govt to auction new mining leases, renew operational ones
Panaji: Goa government has decided to auction new mining leases while the existing operational leases would be renewed without going for any bidding. “What I have suggested is that if there is any new lease, auctioning route has to be followed. This is not valid for the leases which are operative.
There were 80-85 operational leases when the mining was banned,” Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters here today.
The state government has already cancelled 369 mining leases which were not operational, he said. “If we have to grant those leases (369 leases), I will follow the procedure of auctioning,” he said.
Though the Centre has decided to follow auctioning route for coal allocation, Goa government cannot do the same for the operational mining leases as the Supreme Court has not termed the iron ore mining leases as illegal, he said.
“In case of coal, the SC has termed all the leases as illegal, so the slate is clean for the Centre. But in case of Goa, the C has not said that the mining leases are illegal.
The court order has said that the extension of leases beyond 2007 is illegal,” Parrikar said.
“The Supreme Court has said that the state government should form the policy and give the leases accordingly. As far as coal is concerned, all the leases became null and void and that's why they have issued ordinance,” he said.
He further said that auctioning may not happen in the near future for Goa mining leases as the state's export levels are capped at 20 million metric tones annually by the SC.
“There is a cap of 20 million MT. I have no option but to curtail the existing operational leases. I don't think it will exceed 50 out of 80-85 operational mining leases,” he said, adding that each of the mining leases would be given an annual extraction limit.