Mon, 15 Jul, 2019

Shah seeks to revisit mining issue in totality

13th July 2019, 02:51 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI  

In the first signs that the Centre and State are working in tandem to resolve Goa’s mining imbroglio, Bharatiya Janata Party national president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah sought a detailed, chronological report from the Union Mines ministry on what led to the impasse.   

Shah directed the Mines ministry officials to prepare the report at a high level meeting held in Delhi on Friday evening which was also attended by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Union Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi, Goa’s Advocate General Devidas Pangam, Chief Secretary Parimal Rai, five other Union Ministers and top bureaucrats of the Central and State governments.   

Sawant said, several aspects of how to resolve the mining imbroglio came up in the discussions including matters related to tenure of mining leases following the enforcement of the Goa Daman and Diu Mining Concession (Abolition and Declaration as Mining Leases) Act, 1987, environment clearances, handling of iron ore rejects dumps and ongoing litigations were discussed at the meeting.   

He said, Shah has asked the Mines Ministry officials to revisit Goa’s mining issue in totality and submit a detailed report to him before the meeting fixed for next week.   

Sawant, who represents Sanquelim located in Goa’s eastern mining heartland, described Friday’s meeting as “fruitful” and expressed hope that some ground will be broken on the path to restarting mining in Goa.   

“I have put forth issues of Goa’s mining sector with the Group of Ministers led by Home Minister Amit Shah,” Sawant said, adding that 

several mining related judgements were also examined   

Other Union Ministers who participated in the meeting included Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, Narendra Singh Tomar and Dharmendra Pradhan.   

Goa’s beleagured mining sector has come to a grinding halt for the second time in the last seven years in March 2018 after the Supreme Court canceled all the leases which were renewed by the State government in 2014-15.   

The development has dealt a severe blow to the local economy and upset livelihoods of thousands of workers from the sector and other ancillary economic activity.