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State seeks special package to make up for mining revenue loss

Panaji: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday urged the central government to sanction a special package for the state to recompense the mining revenue loss of Rs 1,400 crore.

Pressing for the financial package from the Centre at a pre-budget consultation meeting chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday in New Delhi, Sawant said that required infrastructure could not be developed in the state owing to financial crunch.

“Mining and tourism are the important sectors of the Goan economy. However, the ban on mining has exerted tremendous pressure on the state economy. There has been a direct revenue loss of Rs 1,400 crore. A special package to bear this loss may be sanctioned for the state,” Sawant urged the Centre at the meeting.

He brought it to the notice of Sitharaman that the state faces the challenge of infrastructural bottlenecks for the tourism sector, as the annual tourist inflow into Goa is more than five times to its resident population.

The Finance Minister can help the state through centrally-sponsored hinterland tourism projects, he said, adding that Goa is the permanent venue for the International Film Festival of India. “However, required infrastructure could not be developed owing to the financial crunch. The Centre may sanction special grants for creating facilities like convention centre,” he urged.

Sawant also emphasised on developing Goa into an educational and health hub.

“There is scope for setting up institutions like Indian Institute of Management, National Law College, All India Institute of Medical Sciences etc,” he explained.

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