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No commitment from Centre, but there is a promise: BJP

Panjim: Admitting that there is no commitment from the Central government, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Goa unit on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to find a solution to the mining imbroglio in the next two-three months.

BJP also claimed that the Group of Ministers (GoM), constituted to deal with mining issues across the mineral rich States of the country, has shown a positive response and have zeroed down on a legislation change, which is required for resumption of mining activities in Goa, which are under suspension since March 16.

A delegation led by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the GoM in Delhi on Tuesday with the Goa State Legislative Assembly’s resolution seeking Central government intervention to amend the Goa, Daman and Diu Mining Concessions (Abolition and Declaration as Mining Leases) Act, 1987 to enable the the mining leases to remain operational up to 2037.

Addressing media persons on Wednesday, BJP Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral said the Prime Minister has shown keen interest in Goa’s mines and has promised to find a solution in next two-three months.

He said the GoM is also convinced that the Goa issue is different and has assured to work out a solution within the legal framework. “No doubt that there is no commitment but positive outcome is there. The solution will be worked out in next two-three months,” Cabral said.

“GoM have zeroed down to a legislation change, which is required for mining resumption in Goa. However, they will seek legal opinion on the matter and if required and within law, the necessary legislation changes would be introduced,” he added.

The new iron ore mining season in the State normally commences in October, after a four month break due to monsoons.

Cabral said that State Government will form a coordination team comprising a MLA from the mining belt, Secretary Mines and Director Mines. “We will form a team and there would be regular interaction between Goa team with GoM. Chief Minister will guide us. Meetings will take place every 15-20 days,” he said.

The necessary legislation changes would be made, if required, through an Ordinance, since the Parliament is not in session, Cabral stated.

While appreciating the Goa Congress MLAs for supporting the mining resolution in the House, the BJP leader urged them to ensure that the Congress central leadership extends its support to the Ordinance and later to the Bill, whenever it is introduced in Parliament. [H]

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