Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday said that he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ministries of home affairs and mining requesting them to amend the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 for restarting mining activities in the state.
He told media persons during a web briefing on Monday that the state government wants resumption of mining operations as tourism activities have completely come to a halt in Goa in the wake of the pandemic.
Ore transportation has been allowed as per central guidelines laid down in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mining is one of the permissible economic activities as per central government’s guidelines. So we have urged the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister and the Union Mining Minister to amend the MMDR Act to facilitate revival of the mining industry…,” he added.
When pointed out that the mining matter is pending in the Supreme Court, Sawant said, “We will decide on approaching the apex court only after Centre’s response.”
He clarified that the ongoing iron ore transportation is in accordance with the central government’s decision.
“The ongoing iron ore transportation in the state is a regulated activity. Transportation of ore from outside the state is an ‘import’ activity, thus it is not affecting the lockdown… they (drivers) unload the ore in Goa and go back,” he explained.