Goa govt rules out ban on iron ore exports

Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday ruled out the possibility of clamping a ban on exports of iron ore from the state.

"In Goa, the exports are hallmark of the mining industry. The recommendations by the MB Shah Commission to ban the exports cannot be accepted," Parrikar told reporters here.

The chief Minister was reacting to the reported recommendations of Justice Commission which investigated into the illegal mining activity in Goa and recommended a ban on the exports.

The Commission has submitted its interim report to the Union Mines Ministry in Delhi on Thursday.

Parrikar said "Goa cannot survive if exports of iron ore are banned from the state. The Shah Commission members have wrongly interpreted Goa's situation, probably because the members on the Commission were not Goans."

"Mining is a 60-year old business in the state," the Chief Minister said adding not even one kilogram of iron ore from Goa can be converted into steel because it is of low grade.

"Even setting up of steel industry is not suitable in the state due to logistic issues," he said, adding the legal mining industry would be provided all the required protection in the state.

The state's mining industry has been on tenterhooks after the Shah Commission has submitted its report.

Goa Mineral Ore Exporters' Association, an umbrella orgnisation of the exporters, has said they are ready to clarify all the issues raised in the Commission's report.

GMOEA Secretary Glenn Kalavampara said the issues are mostly technical.

"The Mines Ministry is in the know of the ground-level situation. But even if it wants clarifications, we are ready to provide," Kalavampara said, adding the Association had asked for an audience with the Shah Commission but it was not given till the end.