Leaders of the Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF), an umbrella body of mine workers, including representatives of trade unions, on Thursday criticised the State government for what they described as its “casual and cavalier approach towards the serious concerns of people affected by the ban on mining”.
Christopher Fonseca, GMPF leader, said on Thursday that while the mining workers were suffering miseries for over eight months owing to the closure of mining, the government had failed to show earnestness to highlight their cause before the Union government by taking a delegation of political parties to the Prime Minister.
Advocate Suhaas Naik of GMPF said that among other problems of alternate livelihood the various stakeholders had a huge accumulated liability with banks towards outstanding loans and GMPF wanted Chief Minister to approach the Union government to persuade it to take up with banks and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) the need to workout some relief packages including restructuring of their loans and moratorium to them.
He said barge owners had Rs. 365 crore, mining machinery owners had Rs. 80 crore, and truck owners had Rs. 1,200 crore as outstanding in banks and other financial institutions. Mining workers had personal loans which were becoming overdue with various banks, he added.
In reply to a question he reiterated that the demand of the trade unions to nationalize mining in Goa as they were national resources.