Union Home Minister Amit Shah will chair a high-level meeting on the issue of resumption of mining in Goa, on Friday in Delhi. Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant will also participate in the meeting. Sawant also holds the mining portfolio.
According to news portal ANI, “Chief Minister Pramod Sawant will attend a high-level meeting on Goa mining matter chaired by Union Home Amit Shah along with Union Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi at New Delhi on Friday at 4 pm,” said a statement released here by Chief Minister’s Office Goa. On February 7, 2018, based on a few public interest litigations (PILs) filed by three different petitioners, the Supreme Court had quashed lease renewals. In effect, it restored the earlier position that all mining after November 22, 2007, was illegal.
In October 2012, the apex court suspended all iron ore mining and transportation in the state following a report submitted by Justice MB Shah Commission, which found that millions of tonnes of iron ore were mined illegally.
The report stated that illegal mining was being carried out in conspiracy with the state government including then Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, which had pegged the losses to the exchequer at about Rs 35,000 crore.
In 2015, the State government renewed 88 mining leases, all owned by those who were accused of illegal mining.
The five-decade-old mining industry in the coastal state came to a standstill in March 2018, after the Supreme Court quashed the second renewal of 88 iron ore mining leases.Sawant had raised the issue during the recent meeting of NITI Aayog, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.