The Goenchi Mati Permanent Fund Campaign

We argue:

  1. When we inherit something, we are simply custodians. We are obliged to preserve the value of our inheritance and pass it on to our children.
  2. Minerals are non-renewable inherited assets. In particular in India, the state government owns minerals, not the federal government or the land owner (as in the US). So this obligation to preserve the value devolves on the state government

At the root is our analysis on iron ore mining in Goa. We found that as far as iron ore mining was concerned, we were losing 95% of the value (economic rent) of our minerals, Rs. 51,446 crores. This was over a 8 year period, and amounted to 28% of the Goa GDP, twice the state revenues, and Rs.3.5 lakhs each. Note that since minerals in India are owned by all of us, this is an extremely regressive per-head tax – everyone loses equally, while the miners get richer. Anti-socialist, contrary to Articles 14, 39 (b) of the Constitution and contrary to Article 17 of the UN declaration of Human Rights

We want:

  1. Zero loss mining – the State of Goa, as owners on behalf of our children and future generations, must ensure that the full value of the mineral be captured.
  2. All receipts from minerals be treated as capital receipts (sale of assets) and be deposited into a Future Generations Fund – this is like the Alaska Permanent Fund or the Norway Government Pension Fund.
  3. All income from the fund, after reinvesting for inflation, be distributed equally to all as a Citizen’s Dividend.

We have:

  1. Won an order at the Supreme Court of India mandating that 10% of the value of the iron ore be a new levy, and deposited into a Goa Iron Ore Permanent Fund.
  2. Made a detailed proposal to the Chief Minister, Goa. This includes how to restructure mining, and how to help the mining dependent

Our campaign:

A fight for the inheritance of our children & future generations

  1. It should extend across all minerals. Hence, the fund should be called Goenchi Mati Permanent Fund
  2. We should recover the full value of our minerals, not just what the SC has ordered. We lost 61.3% of the sale value of the mineral, SC order is for 10% of the sale value of the mineral.
  3. Amounts recoverable from illegal mining should be recovered. Without interest, the amount recoverable pursuant to the SC Order is estimated at Rs. 65,000 crores. Over Rs. 4 lakhs each!
  4. The entire amount from mining and illegal mining should be saved in the Permanent Fund. Held in trust for the people and future generations. Managed by the National Pension Scheme. Objective is long term returns with an initial target of 3% more than inflation.
  5. The distribution of the 100% of the Fund’s real income as a Citizen’s Dividend.
  6. These principles should extend across India and globally

You can follow the campaign at Write to us at Better still, write to your CM, MLA, MP, the PM and tell them what you think.