Goa should urge Centre to fast-track mining request: Guv
Panaji, May 29 : The Goa government has to urge the Centre to fast-track its proposal for the resumption of mining in the state, Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Friday.
Malik also said that the Covid-19 pandemic has made Goa realise the importance of the necessity of being self sufficient vis-a-vis the state’s agricultural needs.
“I have also suggested that mining activity should be restarted as early as possible. Mining activities have halted since 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases. The government must fast track the proposal before the central government for the resumption of mining,” Malik said in an address to the state ahead of the Goa Statehood day, which is celebrated on May 30.
Malik has repeatedly voiced concern about the virtually non-functional mining sector in the state, which stopped extraction of iron ore following a Supreme Court order in 2018. The order scrapped 88 operational mining leases, citing irregularities in the renewal processes. When the industry was at its peak, mining extraction and trade accounted for 30 per cent of the state’s Gross Domestic Product.
Malik also said, that the state government should promote tourism through proactive marketing in order to attract “high-end tourists by developing high end service such as the floatel, golf course, yacht marina through private sector participation”.
Commenting on the situation in Goa amid the Covid-19 lockdown, Malik also said, that the state had managed to prevent community transmission, but added that the Covid-19 crisis had taught the state a very important lesson.
“The current situation of the pandemic has given rise to various other challenges, and revival of the state’s economy has become the need of the hour. One of the major crisis that unfolded during the pandemic was the availability and supply of food items. The Covid crisis has made us realise that there is a dire need of the revival of the agricultural sector in Goa,” Malik said.
“Goa is capable of becoming self sufficient in agriculture production and the government should remove all the bottlenecks in resurrecting the sector. Today, Goa depends on neighbouring states to meet its requirement of vegetables, dairy products and essential food items,” the Governor also said, adding that the state needed to introduce agriculture reform in order to become self-sustained.