Panaji, Jul 20 (IANS): The Goa government will pass a legislation to float a state mining corporation during the upcoming session of the state legislative Assembly, and auction mining leases at the earliest, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Tuesday.
Sawant said that his government had already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Mineral Exploration Corporation of India -- a Central government agency -- on Monday, which would help explore ore deposits and mining leases in the state, after which auctioning of leases would be held on an expedited basis.
"The Mining Corporation Bill will be passed in the state Assembly in the upcoming session. Once the mining corporation is formed, its rules will be formed on a fast-track basis. Some of the leases in the state will be auctioned through the corporation," Sawant told reporters.
The Monsoon Session of the state Assembly is scheduled to get underway from July 28.
The Chief Minister's announcement came on a day when the Supreme Court dismissed petitions filed by the state government and a private mining company seeking the review of a February 2018 order of the apex court, which had scrapped nearly 90 mining leases in the state, citing irregularities in their renewal process.
All mining exploration activity in Goa has stopped following the 2018 top court order.
Sawant also said that the process of auctioning the leases would be carried out after an exploration of the mining tracts is conducted by the Mineral Exploration Corporation of India, which would help identify the deposits in each of the leases.
"The Mining Exploration Corporation will help us examine the deposits in every mining (lease). As we get the study of every lease from the Corporation, we will explore what needs to be done. Not a single penny from the state will be spent on MECL's exploration study," Sawant said.