While the current slide of the Indian rupee against the dollar is caught the government off guard, the inexorable decline has been attributed to the closure of Goa’s iron ore mining industry.
Expressing concerns over the halt to over billions of dollars worth of iron ore exports from the state, Anil Agarwal, executive chairman, Vedanta Group said on Twitter that the Goa mining closure is contributing to the rupee’s fall.
Agarwal, the head of a mineral conglomerate with worldwide operations, tweeted that domestic factors are contributing to the fall of the rupee.
“Natural resources’ imports have skyrocketed. Aluminum imports are up by 20 per cent; enormous amounts of oil, copper, sulfuric acid and fertilisers are being imported and iron ore exports worth billions from Goa have stopped,” he said.
The Vedanta head further tweeted, “The need of the hour is to urgently restart Goa mining. It will help arrest the sliding rupee, contain interest rates, save hard-earned forex and create jobs,” he said, tagging his tweet to the Prime Minister’s Twitter handle.
Vedanta is the state’s largest iron ore mining company with 5.5 million tonne of extraction limit to the total cap of 20 million tonne, which is imposed by the Supreme Court.
Iron ore mining stands suspended in the state since March 16 2018 after the apex court cancelled 88 mining leases. Restarting mining looks like a complex issue.
The government wants to take the ordinance route to restart mining operations.
A crucial meeting between the group of ministers constituted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the mining issue and state leaders has been scheduled to be held after the Ganesh Chaturthi.
The mining season restarts usually from October 1 in Goa.