‘Ease of doing business’ at lowest in Goa: Mining magnate

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Panaji, July 27 (IANS) The ‘ease of doing business’ was at its lowest point in Goa, said Audhut Timblo, Chairman of Fomento Resources, here on Saturday. It has come down to zero since 2012 when mining was banned, he said.

Terming it a serious issue, he said the successive governments had failed to provide a conducive environment for doing business in the state. In 1950s the ease of doing business in that sector was 100, after 1962 it was 50 and in 2012 it declined to zero, Timblo said at the first edition of the Fomento lecture series at the Goa University..

In the 2018 ‘ease of business’ ranking, released by the central government as part of the ‘make In India’ initiative, Goa was ranked below Bihar at 19.

After Vedanta Resources, the Fomento Group is one of the largest mining entities in Goa.

“The central and the state governments were getting Rs 3,000 crore a year from that (mining) activity,” he said.

The mining sector has been hit hard by stoppages, the first of which came in 2012 when the Supreme Court ordered a ban following revelation of Rs 35,000 crore illegal mining scam.

Weeks before the apex court ban, then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had temporarily halted mining as the central government withdrew all environment clearances for the mining leases.

The ban was lifted in 2014, but the Supreme Court banned ore extraction again in 2018, faulting the state BJP-led coalition government for gross irregularities in the lease allotment process.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told the Goa Assembly earlier this week that he was not sure about resumption of mining in the state. Sawant in his written reply said the losses incurred by the state exchequer on account of the mining ban had not been quantified.

–IANS

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