A delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party leaders from Goa met party President Amit Shah and Union Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in New Delhi on Friday to push for early resumption of iron ore mining in the state, PTI reported.
The party’s state president Vinay Tendulkar, parliamentarian Narendra Sawaikar and Assembly Speaker Pramod Sawant met Shah to brief him about the situation prevailing in the state because of the ban placed on mining activities since March.
“We had a meeting with our national president for almost 20 minutes during which the issue of resumption of mining was discussed,” Sawant told PTI. Shah reportedly said he would ask a group of ministers looking into the ban to raise the matter during the next session of Parliament.
In February, the Supreme Court quashed a 2015 state government order renewing the mining leases of 88 companies. The companies were directed to stop all mining operations with effect from March 16. The court said fresh leases will be issued only after the companies obtain environment clearances, and asked the government to start a fresh auction process. The BJP had then claimed that the judgement would result in heavy losses and unemployment for the state’s iron ore export industry.
In July, the state Assembly passed a resolution urging the Centre to amend the Goa, Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration as Mining Leases) Act, saying it would allow the state to bypass the top court’s judgement.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the matter in August and wrote to Tomar, requesting him to amend the law.