The Goa government has pinned its hope on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the mining crisis in the state and is confident that he will find some solution for it, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Monday. He also said that the opposition Congress should come up with some “constructive solutions” to revive the iron ore mining operations in the state, which gets a large amount of revenue from the sector.
“We are confident that the prime minister can resolve the mining issue in Goa. We should not think that Modi is ignoring the issue. He is well aware of the situation in Goa,” Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said, responding to a question. He was addressing a press conference to highlight achievements of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre in the last four years.
Rane said a state government delegation had recently visited New Delhi and apprised officials in the Prime Minister’s Office with the issues plaguing the mining industry in Goa. “Only the prime minister will be able to find a solution to this issue,” the minister said.
He accused the opposition Congress of trying to instigate the public against the BJP-led government over the issue.
“The Congress is not coming up with any constructive suggestions. They should give in writing to the Chief Minister’s Office how the crisis can be resolved. We all know that mining is a crucial economic activity in the state,” Rane said.
He lauded Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar for initiating steps to revive the industry when mining had stopped previously in 2012.
“Parrikar is the only chief minister who addressed the issue of mining dependents. No other government thought on these lines and there was never a suggestion from the opposition,” he said.
“It was Parrikar’s initiative that helped the mining dependents to get financial assistance. He has been trying to do his best,” Rane added.
The mining industry in Goa came to a standstill in March this year after the Supreme Court set aside second renewal of iron ore mining leases granted to 88 companies in 2015. This was the second big blow to the industry, which had faced closure in 2012 too, following the SC directives.
The court had then taken cognisance of the M B Shah commission report, which claimed there was illegal mining worth Rs 35,000 crore in the state between 2005 and 2012.
The industry remained shut for nearly 19 months from October 2012 to April 2014, when the apex court finally allowed miners to operate while imposing several riders.