Goa Barge Owner’s Association Urges for Immediate Solution to the Mining Stalemate in the State

Barge owners’ industry in Goa has suffered a loss of over Rs 500 crores in the past 30 months of Goa mining stoppage

Public and Private Sector Banks are hounding the barge owners for non-payment of loans for barges

New Delhi

Goa Barge Owner’s Association, today appealed to the Central and State government to bridge the gaps created by the mining ban and to prepare a congenial and debt-free atmosphere for the common man in the state. The Barge Owner’s Association has urged for immediate resumption of mining activities in the interest for the revival of SME industry and protecting livelihoods of mining dependents in the entire value-chain. The barge owners have collectively incurred a loss in excess of Rs 500 crores in the last 30 months and the debts are further rising because of their inability to repay the instalments.

The state of Goa is the only state with a unique logistics infrastructure for movement of iron ore from mines to ports. The entire cargo for exports is transported by barge through waterways. This is the most economical and environment friendly mode of transportation. This channel involves trucks, jetties, and barges, in that order. Iron-ore mining, in the state had helped build a small and medium enterprises (SME) of truckers, machine and owners of river barges. These SMEs’ took huge loans from various public and private sector banks as well as cooperatives to set-up their businesses and earn their livelihoods. Sudden closure of mining in March 2018 in the state through a Supreme Court order has led shut-down of these small businesses and their assets are lying idle and getting rusted for the last 30 months. Presently, all these businesses and their families are witnessing a bleak future as there has not been any clear direction from the Government on resumption of mining. Various money lending companies are also harassing as now the barge owners’ have sold their personal assets and are not in a capacity to repay the loans.