Goa truck owners queue up for mining dole

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 25, 2013 09:10 hrs

Panaji, July 25 (IANS) Over 6,000 truck owners and nearly 1,800 workers laid off due to a ban on mining in Goa are queuing up for a state government relief scheme, a top official said Thursday.

Chairman of Goa Electronics Limited (GEL) Dattaprasad Naik told reporters here that disbursement of dole under the Mining Affected/Impacted Relief Scheme 2013 has already begun.

"As of now we have sanctioned assistance to 3,416 truck owners and 168 unemployed. The remaining applications are being processed," Naik said.

The GEL, a government-run corporation, has been appointed as the nodal agency for disbursing money under the relief scheme.

While truck owners are being given Rs.8,000 a month if they own one truck and Rs.4,000 for the second vehicle, those sacked from mining companies would get 50 percent of their gross salaries. The dole will be disbursed with retrospective effect from October, 2012 when the Supreme Court banned mining for a year.

"Around Rs.1.5 crore has already been given out to those who have been rendered unemployed in the mining sector, while Rs.50-60 crore have been given to truck owners," Naik said.

The scheme was announced by the Manohar Parrikar-led Bharatiya Janata Party government, which has several of its legislators linked to the mining sector.

The Goa government has also petitioned the central government for a financial package for those who have been affected by the ban on mining in the state.

The ban was imposed by the apex court on the basis of a petition filed by a green NGO, the Goa Foundation, represented by senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan.

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