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Congress leader Chidambaram promises resumption of mining in Goa if his party comes to power

The mining operations, which used to be one of the main sources of revenue for Goa, came to a grinding halt in the state in March 2018 after Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases.

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Panaji: The Congress on Sunday released its manifesto for the upcoming Goa Assembly polls, and senior party leader P Chidambaram promised the resumption of mining activities in the coastal state if his party comes to power.

He was speaking on some of the vital points of the manifesto released by the Congress for the state Assembly polls scheduled on February 14.

The mining operations, which used to be one of the main sources of revenue for Goa, came to a grinding halt in the state in March 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases.

Chidambaram, who is the Congress’ senior election observer for the Goa Assembly polls, said the problem for the state is not about finding resources, but the allocation of resources, Chidambaram said.

“There are three avenues for the state budget – government’s own resources, share of central government revenue and central government grants,” he said.

The source of funds was never a problem, but the problem was with the allocation of funds. If wise hands and thinking minds can allocate funds, then all the issues highlighted in the manifesto can be achieved in five years, he said.

Citing an example of how the state resources can increase, he said that if Goa becomes an IT and pharmaceutical hub, then the resources will multiply. “If one fails to attend to the problems, revenues are depressed,” he added.

He assured resumption of mining in the state if his party is voted to power.

“We can start sustainable legal mining under the Supreme Court judgement. But, we need to attend to the problems,” the Congress leader said.

To a question, Chidambaram said “disease of defection” should stop in Goa and it is only possible if people decide to defeat the defectors during by-elections.

After the 2017 Goa Assembly elections, the Congress had emerged as the single-largest party by winning 17 seats in the 40-member House. However, the BJP, which had won 13 seats, quickly tied-up with some regional outfits and independents to form government in the coastal state.

Later, a number of Congress MLAs quit the party and many of them joined the ruling BJP. The Congress currently has only two MLAs in the state.

On Sunday, those present during the release of the Congress’s manifesto included party’s Goa in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao, state unit chief Girish Chodankar, former Union minister Ramakant Khalap and AICC media in-charge for Goa elections Alka Lamba.

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.


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