Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said the mining activity is expected to resume in the state from next month. In an interview to Rajya Sabha television channel which was telecast on Sunday, Sawant said his government is hopeful that the Supreme court will provide relief during the hearing on mining case in April, after which the extraction of iron ore would restart in the state. "We are hoping that the legal extraction of ore will start from April onwards," he said.
The mining industry in the coastal state came to a standstill after the Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases in February 2018. Sawant said attempts were being made to restart the mining operations while following the legal procedure. "We already received a relief when the Supreme Court allowed the 'royalty paid' iron ore, which is piled up at different places, to be exported from the state," he said.
Once the apex court allows extraction of iron ore, the Goa government's vision will be to have "sustainable mining" in the state, he said. The chief minister further said the infrastructure development projects currently underway in the state, including the Greenfield airport at Mopa in North Goa and the National Highway project, would be completed by 2022.
Hailing the state budget which he presented in the Goa Assembly on February 6, Sawant said even the opposition parties were left with no issue to criticise the financial statement (budget). "The focus of my budget was the common man. We targeted revenue collection without pinching the common man.
There was no increase in tax on the public," he said. While doing so, the budget continued with the social welfare schemes already existing in the state, he pointed out. "Despite all this, we have presented a revenue surplus budget," the chief minister said. He admitted that the "biggest challenge before him was to generate revenue for the state".