Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday ruled out setting up of a government-run mining corporation to run the state's mining sector, calling it "unviable".He hinting that auctioning of mining leases may be the only option before him, in order to kick-start the ore extraction, which is scheduled to wind up from March 15 following Supreme Court orders."We will see to it that mining is resumed as early as possible. Even if we go for auction, we may put some stringent clauses to ensure that leaseholder will have to start mining within a specific period or pay a heavy penalty otherwise," Parrikar told reporters here.Setting up the state corporation for mining will "invite multiple problems", he said. On February 7, the Supreme Court cancelled all existing iron ore mining leases in Goa and ordered that the mining tracts should be leased out afresh, after obtaining new environmental clearances.
As per the order, all ore extraction activity on the renewed leases should cease by March 15.Goa is the country's leading exporter of low-grade iron ore and exported nearly 50 million tonnes before the Shah Commission in 2012 exposed a Rs 35,000-crore scam, implicating nearly all major mining industrial houses along with then Congress Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and key bureaucrats.Iron ore extraction in Goa was subsequently halted by a series of bans by the state and central governments and eventually by the Supreme Court in 2012.However, a BJP-led coalition government in 2014-15 renewed the mining leases in favour of the same mining companies accused by the Shah Commission of illegal mining.