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Centre to revisit Goa mining issue

Panaji: Union Minister for Home Affairs, Amit Shah, who headed a high-level meeting in New Delhi on Friday pertaining to closure of mining activities in Goa since March 2018, gave directions to Ministry of Mines to revisit the entire issue and report to him.

Shah stated during the meeting that he would like to solve the imbroglio in the Goan mining sector at the earliest. The meeting discussed various judgments of the Supreme Court on mining in Goa.

The meeting was also attended by other Union ministers namely Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister for Railways and Commerce Piyush Goyal, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister for Mines Pralhad Joshi.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Advocate General of Goa Devidas Pangam also remained present at this meeting.

The Chief Minister later tweeted that he has put forth issues of Goa’s mining sector at this fruitful high-level meeting.

“Shah has given directions to the Ministry of Mines to revisit the entire issue and report to him,” he informed, pointing out that the second round of meeting would be held by next week.

The mining activity in the state has come to a standstill following the Supreme Court direction that quashed 88 mining leases. Sawant had raised the issue during the recent meeting of NITI Ayog, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rajya Sabha member from Goa Vinay Tendulkar had recently informed the Rajya Sabha that the closure of the mining industry has seriously affected 75,000 families in Goa, and now the situation is such that parents in the mining-dependent families don’t even have money to pay school fees of their children.

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