Mining truck owners suggest a win-win for all, while everybody loses a bit

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 18 December 2015 11:25 IST

To break the impasse over the transportation of the extracted iron ore, the striking truck owners have suggested a win-win formula for all, provided all the three parties involved in this issue agree to lose a bit.

Mining resumed in Goa after a ban of three years with Sesa making a beginning.

But the truckers’ strike over the transportation rate has halted the operations while the rest of the mining industry is waiting and watching its outcome before opening up their respective mining leases.

Citing crashed prices of iron ore in the international market, Sesa is offering only Rs 8 per tonne per km.

With prices going up compared to the diesel prices three years ago, All Goa Truck Association is demanding Rs 17.32 per tonne per km.

The Goa government is trying desperately to break the impasse and resume mining as drums of the next Assembly election have already started playing.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is particularly worried about the situation since the whole mining belt is their stronghold area.

After having yet another round of talks with the striking truck owners yesterday evening, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar is planning to persuade today the adamant Sesa company to step ahead a bit to shake hands with the striking truckers.

The AGTA has already come one step behind by offering to accept the old rate of Rs 11.27 per tonne per km.

TRUCKERS’ WIN-WIN FORMULA

At this stage, this is the formula AGTA president Nilkanth Gawas offers as a win-win situation for all, while everybody also loses a bit.

The truckers were paid Rs 17.32 per tonne per km when diesel cost them Rs 39.60 per litre five years ago.

Though diesel costs today Rs 48.18, they are prepared to accept the same old rate of Rs 11.27 per tonne per km.

The win: Truckers get business for their trucks, which are lying idle for the last three years.

The loss: They get much less a rate than what they were earning during mining boom from 2007 to 2012.

However, to save the truckers from huge amount of loss, the AGTA proposes that government gives them subsidy of Rs 5 behind each litre of diesel.

The loss: Goa government loses on subsidy but can afford with barrel price of crude oil presently having fallen.

The win: Government earns revenue of around Rs 20 through VAT on diesel while also earns through other taxation measures once mining activity takes off.

But to make it possible, feels Gawas, the Sesa as well as all other mining companies should hike the presently offered rate of Rs 8 per tonne per km to Rs 11.27.

The loss: The mining companies lose Rs 3. 27 on each tonne when price of iron ore has crashed in the international market.

The win: They can extract the ore before their Environment Clearance expires in March next year.

Gawas also asks why the mining companies can’t stock the iron ore and wait for the price in the market to improve rather than selling everything right now.

SESA LOOTING GOA

Gawas feels the impasse has occurred mainly because of the arrogant attitude of Sesa, which is concerned only about looting Goa and not contributing to the state in any manner.

“The mining companies like Salgaoncar, Dempo, Chowgules, Fomento have contributed to the welfare of the state. What has Sesa or Vedanta done? They are only looting Goa and our ruling politicians are supporting them”, alleges Gawas.

While Goa was once ruled by the Portuguese while sitting in Portugal, Gawas says our state is now ruled by Agarwals sitting in England.

“Do we deserve this kind of treatment in a democracy”, he asks.  

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