‘Mining halt has led to increase in crime’

 

 The halt in mining activities in Goa has resulted in an increase in crime and school dropouts, led to more people living in impoverished conditions and affected the lifestyle of 30 to 40% of the population, the state has said in its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in the illegal mining case. The affidavit states, "As many as one lakh people have become jobless and (there is) direct and indirect unemployment giving rise to potential danger in society." 
 
There has also been a drastic negative effect on the public exchequer and state revenue, thereby hampering the state's progress, the affidavit states. The loss can be appreciated by comparing the export figures for the previous year which was around 43 million tonnes the affidavit states. 
 
Providing figures, the affidavit states, "The revenue from export would be around Rs 20,000 crore per annum, of which 30% export duty comes through the central government, which is about Rs 6,000 crore. Assuming the cost to the (mine) leaseholder is 50%, then Rs 7,000 crore goes in the hands of the people employed in the mining sector directly or indirectly," the affidavit states. 
 
It adds, "Taking a money multiplier effect of four, the total money that has circulated in the economy would have been Rs 7,000 crore multiplied by four, which is Rs 28,000 crore. If we assume that 2.5% of this by virtue of spending by the people finds its way in the treasury by means of various taxes and duties then 2.5% of Rs 28,000 crore is Rs 450 crore," the state government informed the SC 
 
The government arrived at the conclusion that, "The total revenue lost by the central government is over Rs 6,000 crore and loss of notional disposable income to the economy is Rs 28,000 crore." 
 
The affidavit also stated that the closure of mining has resulted in a loss of foreign exchange for the country, affecting the balance of payments and trade. 
 
The contents of the affidavit drew mixed reactions from the opposition and the business community. "By saying this (increase in crime) chief minister Manohar Parrikar is diverting the issue by resorting to fairytales," Congress legislature party spokesperson Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco said, 
 
"We only hope that the affidavit finds sympathetic tones in the corridors of justice and we get a positive response so that it enables legal mining to start," Goa chamber of commerce and industry president Manguirish Pai Raikar said. [TOI]