Only registered trucks entitled for financial package: Minister


Industries Minister Mahadev Naik, who chairs the State government committee formed to study mining truck owners’ problems, in the wake of suspension of mining operations, on Saturday said that “only trucks registered with the department would be entitled for financial compensation package from the government.” 
 Around 8000 trucks were registered with the Directorate of Mines and Geology as of December 31, which was the last date for registration. 
“We had asked for registration of the trucks in the mining business. Initially, 7,189 trucks were registered and subsequently another 800 trucks followed. The committee will be looking into the problems of only these truck owners and only they would be also offered the government’s package,” he said. 
Naik said that the committee, next week, will convene a meeting with the truck owners affected by suspension of mining activity, wherein they would be given an opportunity to put up their demands. “The same would be put up before government for relief,” he said. 
The minister informed that the truckers had to repay loans of Rs 673 crore including Rs 605 crore of principal amounts to the banks. “We can recommend to the government that banks should be asked to restructure the loan,” he said adding ‘government is also working on some schemes for mining dependent people’. 
Meanwhile, the three-member committee headed by Power Minister Milind Naik, constituted to look into the problems of barge industry, is likely to submit its report to government, next week. 
When efforts were made to contact Naik, he was not available for comment. 
The president of All Goa Barge Owners Association (GBOA) Atul Jadav said that association has submitted a detailed report to the committee, including the number of barges, loan liability and their demands, last month. “The committee will now submit this report along with recommendations to government,” he said. 
A total of 310 barges, registered with the association, reportedly owe loan amounting to Rs 350 crore to banks. [H]