(Eds: Adds details, CM's quotes) Panaji, Sep 30 (PTI) Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and discussed a host of issues related to the coastal state, including resumption of iron ore mining stalled since 2018.
Later in the evening, Sawant said restarting of iron ore mining is crucial for the economy of the coastal state and an important meeting is scheduled on October 10 in New Delhi over the issue.
The CM said he has also sought legislative support from the Centre to resolve the mining impasse.
The iron ore extraction industry in Goa came to a halt in 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed the renewal of 88 mining leases, which had undergone second renewal in 2015.
After meeting the PM, Sawant tweeted, 'Called on Honble Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji in New Delhi today. Had fruitful discussion on various matters, including mining.' The Goa CM said he also met Union Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi.
'Later, met the Union Minister of Mines Shri @JoshiPralhad ji along with the Secretary to discuss the mining matter at length. We are hopeful of a positive outcome in coming days,' Sawant said.
In a video message released after his arrival here on Wednesday evening, Sawant said top mining officials along with Goa Advocate General Devidas Pangam would be holding a meeting in New Delhi over the subject on October 10.
'After that, a ministerial-level meeting would be held on October 15. We have asked the Prime Minister and the Centre to provide legislative cure to the problem, the BJP leader said.
Taking potshots at the Congress, Sawant said its government had delayed second renewal of mining leases in 2007, which caused the current impasse.
The 2015 second renewal was questioned by the SC because it was done in a hurried manner by the then Laxmikant Parsekar-led BJP government, due to a delay in undertaking the process under the Congress rule, ahead of amendment tothe Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, he said.
The Chief Minister said the Congress-led government, in 2007, delayed the process of second renewal of mining leases.
If the Congress had renewed the leases in time in the year 2007, then the industry would not have seen such days, Sawant said.
Congress leader Digambar Kamat was Goa chief minister between 2005 and 2012. PTI RPS GK RSY RSY