In a clear signal that 28 mining leases would soon be operational resuming iron ore extraction in the state, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the government will not challenge the recent High Court order which has asked the government to renew these leases.
The 28 mining leases in the state had got respite from the Goa Bench of Bombay High Court last week. The lease owners had already paid the duty under Indian Stamp Duty (Goa amendment) Act, 2012 as part of the renewal process.
"The mining lease owners trusted government when no one else did it. I don't need to challenge the High Court judgement as it clearly says that the lease deeds can be executed subject to the conditions laid down by the Apex court in the writ petition," Parrikar told reporters here yesterday. The mine owners had paid the stamp duty to the government despite Apex Court imposing the ban on the activity and industry's future was uncertain, he said.
The chief minister said the government would consider renewing these 28 leases.
"These mine owners paid me money (in the form of stamp duty), from which government generated revenue to the tune of Rs 435 crores. I managed to pay salaries of the government servants from this amount. Hence we would consider them within the framework of our mining policy, which would be discussed in detail on Monday on the floor of the House, next week," Parrikar said.
A division bench comprising Justice U V Bakre and Ranjit More had directed the state to execute the lease deed under Mines and Minerals Development Regulation (MMRD) Act.