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SC to hear petition challenging Goa mining licence renewals

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a plea which seeks to cancel all the licences granted to 89 mining companies in Goa

It could potentially be a spanner in the works for the mining industry in Goa, which is just about coming back on steam. The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a plea which seeks to cancel all the licences granted to 89 mining companies in the state.

An NGO has filed this plea, and has raised the issue of renewal of licences by an executive order by the state government is not in keeping with the law, as per earlier SC rulings in the 2G and the coal matter as well. The mining ordinance which is now an Act also states that there is a need for greater competition especially when natural and public resources are being allocated to commercial and private enterprises, which can be achieved only through auction, the petitioners say. The environment clearances have also lapsed and hence there is a need for auctions to take place before miners can be allowed to continue with their operations.

This stance is ofcourse opposed by state government and the miners. The Goa government has argued that the mining sector employs more than 1.6 lakh people in the state and 26 percent of state’s revenue is dependent on mining activities. These mining operations are also crucial for minerals development.

The apex court has issued notices to Sesa Sterlite and some other miners, along with the state government.

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