BJP promises package for Goan families dependent on mining

November 6th, 2008 - 6:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyPanaji, Nov 6 (IANS) A rescue package for the rehabilitation of the families dependent on mining - an echo of global recession - is a poll promise the Bharatiya Janata Party has made for the Goa state assembly by-poll from Pale seat.Senior BJP leader Manohar Parrikar announced here Thursday that the party would lobby for a special package for families in Pale dependant on mining, to buffer the perils caused by the slump in the mining industry.

He was speaking at a press conference held to officially announce the candidature of Pramod Sawant for the Pale by-election. The by-poll is scheduled for Nov 26.

“We are looking at some kind of a rescue package for the rehabilitation of the families who are totally dependant on mining. There are several instances we know of people who had invested in trucks or mining equipment and now have no money even to pay instalments,” claimed Parrikar, adding that the rescue package would be high on the BJP’s priority list.

For an assembly constituency where the livelihood of nearly 2,500 households from the approximately 5,000 households hinges on mining, the global slowdown has hit the voters of Pale hard.

With the Chinese infrastructure industry, which bought nearly 80-85 percent of Goa’s low grade iron ore production, freezing up in the last few months and the drastic fall in the prices of ore, the mining industry in Goa is looking to cut corners.

Frenetic ore extraction, which in the recent past had fuelled the infrastructure boom in India and China, has now slowed down to less than half as compared to the corresponding periods of 2007.

As a result, owners and employees of small industries based in Pale - which are in turn allied to the mining industry, such as equipment suppliers, truckers, skilled workers, machine operators - are left with no option but to lay off employees and adopt other austerity measures.

The Pale by-election was announced after Congress lawmaker Gurudas Gawas died due to illness earlier this year. The ruling Congress party has not announced its candidate yet.

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