Mining ban effect: IFFI activities on low scale

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 16, 2012 18:00 hrs

Panaji, Nov 12 (IBNS) While the stage is set for the 43rd edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, the event is forced to organize cultural and peripheral programs on low scale.

The reason: Goa is facing financial crunch as its second largest revenue generating sector - mining is banned since September.

Entertainment Society of Goa's (ESG) Vice Chairman Vishnu Wagh told a press conference on Monday the festival will have all the spice except that it will not be a grand fair.

The state government had suspended licenses of all operating mining leases after the Shah Commission report pointed out illegalities and irregularities worth Rs 35,000 crores in the state.

The Central government thereafter suspended environmental clearances pending verification. The matter is now being heard in the Supreme Court wherein a green NGO has sought closure of all mines in the state.

The 10-day festival scheduled to begin from November 20 in the state's capital Panaji is nevertheless ensuring that local talents are promoted. For this, a special platform 'Goan Art Wall' is being set up wherein local visual artists, for the first time, will display their talent.

"These will be put up for sale," Wagh said.

ESG, established in 2004 when IFFI traveled to Goa from New Delhi, is a nodal agency in organizing the glitterati festival.

The festival will open with the premier of Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi' movie starring Tabu, Irfan Khan and others. The event has been getting good response with more than 10,000 delegates registering themselves so far, and the digits are likely to go up to 12,000.

Pre-event happenings have begun across the state while also it is witnessing a makeover. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry earmarked Rs 9 crore budget this year and it is contemplating that the event in Goa is made self sustainable.

(Reporting by John Edwards)

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