Coming out with an announcement that the government would make a provision of at least Rs 200 crore to Rs 300 crore in the budget 2013-14 for development of mining areas by way of drinking water facilities,
mining corridor and so on, the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar on the first anniversary of his government in power declared a umbrella scheme for mining affected people.
The two schemes – one scheme to provide financial assistance to people, who have lost employment due to the closure of mines, and another one for tipper owners, whose livelihood has been affected due to shutting of mining industry – presently included under the umbrella scheme would be notified on March 11, and the forms will be ready for availing these schemes the same evening. These schemes are formulated for mining affected people from the five talukas of Sattari, Bicholim, Dharbandora, Sanguem and Quepem. The department of mining and geology has been appointed as the implementing agency for the schemes, while the Goa Electronics Ltd is the nodal agency for accepting the forms.
Addressing a press conference at the assembly complex on Saturday, the Chief Minister said that an estimated Rs 6,000 crore would be required to implement each of these schemes. “There are at least 9,000 to 12,000 mining employees affected by the closure of the state mines, while the number of tipper owners affected by the same is between 6,000 and 8,000, and 20 to 25 per cent of these people are desperately suffering,” he observed, informing that the beneficiary mining affected people would receive up to Rs 12,000 as financial assistance per month, while each tipper owner will receive Rs 8,000 on the first tipper and Rs 4,000 on second such vehicle, every month.
Coming out with additional details about the two schemes, the Chief Minister said that the schemes have been devised with great care and would only include assistance to the mining affected person with the family that may comprise of a father, mother, son, spouse, and an unmarried daughter, at the most. “The scheme for the mining affected employees will run for a period of one year from January 1 to December 31, 2013, with the beneficiaries receiving the assistance from the date of his or her termination from service, while that for mining affected tipper owners will be implemented in retrospective manner from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013,” he mentioned.
Mr Parrikar, who holds the mining and geology portfolio, said that both the schemes will automatically cease to exist once the mining activities start in the state; the schemes terminating on taluka-to-taluka basis, as and when mines in these talukas commence their operations. The Chief Minister further stated that the mining workers will have to inform the government once they start working after the opening of the mining industry, as also the mining companies would have to furnish list of their employees. He categorically maintained that exactly one month after the beneficiaries of these schemes join the work in the mining industry, the financial assistance to them would stop.
The schemes can be availed by the mining-affected individuals aged between 18 and 58, with only one person per family able to avail the same. Every family will be able to avail only one scheme. The applicants will further have to present their EPIC issued before 2009, as also prove that they were registered as voters during the 2012 election.
“I have kept a target of March 31, 2013 for the commencement of the disbursal of money under these schemes,” the Chief Minister stated, cautioning the tipper owners to register their vehicles with the GEL before March 15, for being qualified to apply for the scheme. He further made it clear that any family, one of whose members is an employee of a government organisation or organisation receiving government grant-in-aid or an employee of an autonomous body like a corporation of the state/ central government, will not be qualified to apply for the schemes.
The Chief Minister also informed that a few other schemes under the umbrella scheme are being prepared, including a scheme for gainful employment in agriculture, which could require between Rs 1.5 and Rs 2 crore per month for its implementation.
“Another scheme, which is little difficult to formulate, is for the barge owners and is in the pipeline,” he revealed, informing that yet another on-the-anvil scheme is a indirect work package for people from the mining areas, which will ensure certain percentage of work contracts of government being awarded to local people, as also certain percentage of job material procured from them.
The Chief Minister finally said that he did not hold any specific celebration on the occasion of the first anniversary of his government in power; however, the Bharatiya Janata Party held special programmes in at least 145 villages, mainly to activate its workers.
“Last year, I did not get enough time to prepare the budget, and it was more of a freelancing, fast-track activity,” he added, pointing out that this year, he would fill up all the gaps. [NT]