July 13 (IANS) A Group of Ministers (GoM) has been formed to examine vexed issue of mining in Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told reporters late on Friday.
The GoM includes Union Ministers for Finance, Environment, Agriculture, Mining, Commerce & Industries, Petroleum and Law, and is led by Home Minister Amit Shah.
Arriving from a two-day visit to the national capital, Sawant told reporters at the Dabolim International Airport here that he expected a positive outcome from the process initiated on Friday.
“We hope for something positive about mining. Our party President and Home Minister has taken the initiative and formed a group of ministers to examine the issue and find ways and means to restart mining,” Sawant said.
“All the seven ministries and their respective secretaries were present at the meeting,” Sawant said.
The next meeting of the Group of Ministers is expected to be held next week, the Chief Minister also said.
The mining issue has been hanging fire in Goa every since the apex court banned extraction and transportation of iron ore from 88 mining leases from March 2018, while also directing the state government to re-issue mining leases. The is the second time in less than a decade that all mining in the state has come to a standstill.
While the state government is keen on renewing the mining leases of the existing leaseholders, the Central government’s major minerals mining policy advocates auctioning of all natural resources.