New Delhi: Bringing cheer to the mining industry in Goa, Centre on Tuesday decided to revoke its earlier order suspending all environmental clearances (ECs) of mines in the coastal state.
With the withdrawal of the suspension order, the Goa government said the mining industry will resume operations immediately.
In September 2012, then Environment Minister Jayanti Natarajan had suspended ECs of mines in Goa for alleged violation of rules. Her decision came only days after the report of the Justice M B Shah Commission which spoke about illegalities.
The Ministry has decided to lift the abeyance of mines in Goa by following all Supreme Court directives, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters in Parliament.
Javedekar said that the suspension of mining had “created unemployment and a loss of income to the country’.
Meanwhile Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said, “The MoEF today withdrew the suspension of ECs. The mining industry will resume operations immediately now.”
The suspension has been lifted on 72 out of the total 89 approved mining leases in Goa, he said, adding that the remaining ones were within the one-kilometre radius of wildlife sanctuaries.
The Chief Minister also said that the state government would request the Centre to abolish export duty on ore with low ferrous content.
“We are sure that the Centre will abolish duty on low-grade ore and reduce that on high-grade ore,” he said.
Currently, there is 30 percent export duty on ore.
Following the Supreme Court order of April 2014, state and central government authorities were asked to follow all regulations to get mining operations restarted.
In January this year the state government had renewed 90 mining leases, sources said.