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‘12.8 lakh jobs lost in Karnataka and Goa mining sector’

As many firms were unable to pay the penalty, they had to shut the mines. Their closure led to the loss of direct/indirect jobs running into thousands.

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Bengaluru, Sep 11 : A whopping 12.8 lakh direct and indirect jobs were lost in the mining sector across Karnataka and Goa due to failure of regulatory mechanism, lack of oversight, judicial intervention and closure of mines, an industry official said on Wednesday.

“Though the mining sector is the third largest employment generator after agriculture and construction, closure of mines in Karnataka and Goa has resulted in the loss of 12,80,000 direct and indirect jobs since 2011-12 due to ineffective regulatory mechanism, lack of monitoring and oversight at the ground level, and the Supreme Court’s interventions,” Federation of Indian Minerals Industries (Fimi) President Sunil Duggal told IANS here.

For every one job the sector creates, 10 indirect jobs are generated with a force multiplier through linkages and supply chains from mining the rich minerals to their use in the end products.

“Closure of 166 iron ore mines in Karnataka’s Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur districts since 2011 led to 80,000 direct lay-offs, affecting 8 lakh people indirectly. Similarly, suspension of all mining activities across Goa since 2012 for similar reasons resulted in the loss of 1 lakh direct and 3 lakh indirect jobs,” lamented Duggal.

The decade-long multi-crore scams in Karnataka’s ‘Republic of Bellary’ from 2001-2011 forced the apex court to ban mining in the southern state, favouring auctioning of the mines rather than leasing and renewing the licences of the miners.

“The top court on July 29, 2011 and August 26, 2011 banned all activities in Karnataka’s three mineral-rich districts due to encroachment and dumping beyond the lease areas, in which 166 firms were mining,” recalled Duggal.

Similarly, the apex court suspended all mining operations in Goa on October 5, 2012, as renewals were pending over the years and concerns were growing over the increasing environmental pollution in the absence of protective measures.

“Though the Goa government in 2014 renewed leases with checks and balances to mine iron ore up to 20 million tonne per annum, the Supreme Court on February 7, 2018 cancelled the renewal orders of 88 mines, leading to their closure on March 16, 2018,” said Duggal.

As in other core sectors, one mining job provides work for its associated functionaries, including truck owners, drivers, cleaners, repair shops, petrol-diesel retail outlets, hotels, groceries and banks.

“The closure of iron ore mining in Goa has adversely impacted the coastal state’s economy, with a revenue loss of Rs 5,830 crore for the state as well as the Centre,” said Duggal, who is also the Chief Executive of New Delhi-based Vedanta Ltd for base metals.

The Karnataka government lost Rs 10,000 crore over the last 7-8 years in the form of licence fee, royalty, taxes and duties. State-run banks suffered an asset deterioration of up to Rs 50,000 crore.

“The closure of mines affected raw material (iron) supply to steel and sponge iron plants in Karnataka, and caused production loss in downstream industries such as automobiles, consumer durables, machine tools and engineering products, jeopardising 2 lakh direct jobs,” Duggal said.

The lack of monitoring and oversight at the ground level by the state governments led to irregularities and poor implementation of mining laws.

“The failure of regulatory mechanism led to judicial intervention by the Supreme Court in Karnataka, Goa and even Odisha, where excessive production of iron and manganese ore beyond the environment clearance and other statutory limits forced the top court to impose 109 per cent penalties on the mining firms on June 2, 2017,” added Duggal.

As many firms were unable to pay the penalty, they had to shut the mines. Their closure led to the loss of direct/indirect jobs running into thousands.

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Jeff Bezos: Gandhi’s teachings still relevant

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Jeff Bezos Amazon CEO

Mumbai, Jan 17 : Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos feels his trip to India started off on the right note with kites, and says he felt honoured to be able to lay a wreath on the memorial of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi.

From dressing in ‘desi’ attire to spending time with some kids to showing off his kite-flying skills on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Bezos made the most of his India trip. He looked back at the time spent in the country during a conversation with superstar Shah Rukh Khan and filmmaker Zoya Akhtar at a glitzy Amazo Prime Video event here.

“Kite flying was fun… Any day when you get fly kite is a good day.. My trip to India started off on the right note with kites,” Bezos said.

Asked about his experience at the Raj Ghat, he said: “It was very peaceful. He truly changed the world and taught us the principle of non-violence. It was a great honour to be there and lay a wreath.”

When SRK asked if Mahatma Gandhi’s teaching still relevant, Bezos said: “It will be relevant forever..They are true but somehow very hard to achieve.”

Bezos, who is ranked amongst top most global billionaires, was on a three-day India visit starting from Tuesday. He has been to India several times, and has noticed one thing about the country.

“I noticed certain things that seem to me to be the same. There is so much energy, colour, full of life, and everywhere you go, there is so much diversity…Every time I come here, I find that the people that I talked to, are focused on and interested in being better tomorrow than they are today. Everybody here seems to be focused on self improvement. So, when I come here I get a boost of energy,” he said.

Be in its India slate or global line-up, Amazon has diverse projects added to its library. Bezos says the aim is to make it a ‘talent friendly” studio.

“I think this is a golden age of television. There are really good TV series in terms of quality of the very best movies. Now, the best storytellers are coming to TV. You’re getting the best actors in television. This is one of those businesses where the viewer always look for something a little fresh, so you can never find formula. As soon as you find a formula, it’s not fresh,” he said.

Bezos continued: “I want us to be known as the most talent friendly studio in the world. And the reason at the end of the day is that it is the talent that makes those stories. Storytelling is the oldest thing that we’ve been doing it.”

“It is one of the hardest things that humans do is tell riveting inspiring stories,” he added.

Bezos also announced that they have decided to double down the investment for the streaming service in the country. The evening wrapped up with a soulful Sufi performance by music maestro AR Rahman.

(Sugandha Rawal is in Mumbai on an invitation by Amazon Prime Video. She can be contacted at [email protected])

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‘Unending love for Amazon’: RSS economic wing targets Amitabh Kant

Mahajan tweeted: “Kudos @PiyushGoyal you are absolutely right. Kindly enlighten Shri @amitabhk87 also, because he seems to be deeply impressed by the company, especially $1 billion.”

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Jeff Bezos Amazon CEO

New Delhi, Jan 16 : Ashwani Mahajan, the face of RSS’s economic wing Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), on Thursday lashed out at Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, accusing him of being sympathetic towards e-commerce giant Amazon and its owner and global CEO Jeff Bezos, who is on a three-day visit to India.

After Kant tweeted an article, claiming, “Amazon will export $10 billion Make in India goods by 2025, says Jeff Bezos,” Mahajan launched an offensive against the Niti Aayog chief.

The SJM national co-convenor tweeted: “Shri @amitabhk87 ji We r perturbed by your unending love for Amazon, given the scenario that crores of small traders are on streets persecuted by deep discounts and flaunting of rules by the company, @CCI_India and ED instituting enquiry against their wrongs.”

He also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tweet.

Soon in another tweet targeting Kant, Mahajan highlighted Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal’s assertion that “Amazon’s fresh $1B investment in India is not a big favour.”

Mahajan tweeted: “Kudos @PiyushGoyal you are absolutely right. Kindly enlighten Shri @amitabhk87 also, because he seems to be deeply impressed by the company, especially $1 billion.”

The small and medium businesses have been up against Bezos ever since he landed in Delhi on Tuesday, claiming Amazon’s expansion in India will mean death of domestic business. SJM has been spearheading the opposition to Amazon.

On Wednesday, Bezos announced an investment of $1 billion in small and medium businesses in India. He also announced that the e-commerce major, through its global footprint, will help SMBs export products worth $10 billion by 2025.

The Amazon CEO’s India visit comes at a crucial time as the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered an enquiry into the business practices of e-commerce majors Amazon and Flipkart.

Traders have staged protests across India against Bezos’ visit under the aegis of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). CAIT has been protesting for the past few months against what it calls “deep” discounts offered by the e-commerce platforms.

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Amazon’s investment not doing India a great favour: Goyal

Bezos also announced that the e-commerce major, through its global footprint, will help SMBs export products worth $10 billion by 2025.

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Piyush Goyal

New Delhi, Jan 16 : Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday that e-commerce firm Amazon was not doing “India a great favour” by investing $1 billion in the country.

Goyal was speaking at the Raisina Dialogue which is a multilateral conference held annually in New Delhi.

He said India allows e-commerce companies to work on the marketplace model where buyers and sellers are free to buy and sell and follow the rules of the marketplace and laws of the country, which clearly say that FDI in multi-brand retail will only be allowed up to 49 per cent.

“… Secondly, they may have put in a billion dollars but then, if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year, they will jolly well have to finance that billion dollars,” he replied to a question during a panel discussion at the event.

“So, it is not as if they are doing a great favour to India when they invest a billion dollars,” he said.

According to the minister, the company has been investing in India over the last few years, in warehousing and certain other activities.

However, the minister wondered as to how a company employing the e-commerce market-place model makes massive losses.

He said that such losses raise questions, whether the company is indulging in predatory pricing or other unfair trade practices, which will be investigated by authorities.

The minister’s statement assumes significance since Amazon’s global CEO Jeff Bezos on Thursday announced a $1 billion worth of investment into India.

The e-commerce firm’s global CEO is on a three-day visit to India. On Thursday, he announced an investment of $1 billion in small and medium businesses in India.

Bezos also announced that the e-commerce major, through its global footprint, will help SMBs export products worth $10 billion by 2025.

The Amazon CEO’s India visit comes at a crucial time as the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered an enquiry into the business practices of e-commerce majors Amazon and Flipkart.

Traders have staged protests across India against Bezos’ visit under the aegis of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT). CAIT has been protesting for the past few months against what it calls “deep” discounts offered by the e-commerce platforms.

After the minister’s statement at the Raisina Dialogue, CAIT termed it as bold and pragmatic.

“CAIT in its submission to the government has been maintaining that Amazon and Flipkart are bringing FDI in India only to fund their losses arising out of deep discounting and predatory pricing, which is a direct attempt to destroy the ecosystem of Indian retail by trampling upon the livelihood of seven crore traders,” CAIT said in a statement.

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