Industry wants mining restarted so as to tackle rising debts of the State

Top industry bodies in the State have raised concerns over the government’s rising debt even though the state economy showed a growth of 1.6% in 2020-21.

The Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA) and Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) have asked the state to make efforts to restart mining immediately.

GMOEA secretary Glenn Kalavampara said that Goa’s consistently-rising debt over the past ten years is a cause for concern as depending solely on loans and advances proves to be detrimental to the borrower, as the interest element adds up to a considerable amount.

Further he said that mining, which is the main economic activity of Goa, continues to lie in suspension which causes economic concerns to the state as well as hardships to those dependent on it.

GCCI President, Ralph de Sousa said that it wasn’t easy to get alternate business for existing mining assets in other states, as there are a lot of challenges posed by local people of those states.

“For assets like river barges, it’s more challenging, as operations are typical to the Goa logistical system. Also, overall, no alternative to the mining business has come up to replace the employment that has been lost due to the abrupt stoppage of mining of mining four years ago.”

GMOEA also pointed out that ease of doing business has been affected which local industry bodies and other apex chambers had repeatedly raised concerns about and sought the desired solutions expected to be taken by the government.

De Sousa said that the financial situation was worsening everyday with no hope that mining would be started.

GCCI said that the state’s businesspersons are witnessing worsening CIBIL rating, and at the same time, financial institutions are facing rising NPAs. “The immediate resumption of the Goa mining industry can provide relief to the stressed situation in the State,” De Sousa said.

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