Onus on BJP to work for resumption of mining in Goa: Minister Vijai Sardesai

Panaji: Goa Forward Party (GFP) president and minister Vijai Sardesai today suggested taking the ordinance route for resumption of mining activities in the state.

The BJP, which is heading ruling coalitions in Goa as well as at the Centre, should take lead in resolving the crisis in the key industry, he said.

The GFP, a local outfit, is part of the BJP-led government in Goa.

In February, the Supreme Court had quashed second renewals of 88 mining leases while directing them to stop operations after March 15. The SC order brought iron ore mining to a halt in the state.

“The Goa Forward Party has made its stand on the issue clear – we want an early resumption of mining. And for this purpose, if required, an ordinance should be issued and the government should display its firm resolve to restart the economic activity,” Sardesai told reporters here.

He was talking in the backdrop of a Goa government delegation visiting New Delhi to seek intervention of Central ministers and officials for restarting mining, a key source of revenue for the coastal state.

The delegation yesterday met Union Transport, Highways and Shipping minister Nitin Gadkari.

“I personally feel the job of convincing the powers in Delhi (for restarting mining) lies with our senior partner, which is in power both in Goa and at the Centre,” Sardesai said, referring to the BJP.

“Our party is completely in support of the mining- affected people,” he added.

In the recent past, the GFP warned it would not support the BJP during the next Lok Sabha elections if the mining issue is not resolved at the earliest.

As per the government estimates, around two lakh people in Goa are dependent on the mining industry.

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