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Goa seeks special package from Centre to tide over revenue losses

The mining industry has been shut since February 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases due to irregularities

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

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The government on Wednesday sought a special package from the Centre to tide over the revenue losses due to the closure of the state's mining industry.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant placed the demand for a special package during the pre-union budget consultation with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman held in New Delhi on Wednesday, an official said here.

"Sawant said the state is facing an annual revenue loss of Rs 1,400 crore due to the shutting down of the mining industry," a senior official from Chief Minister's Office said.

The mining industry has been shut since February 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases due to irregularities.

"Mining and tourism are important sectors for the Goan economy. However, the ban on mining has put tremendous pressure on the state's economy," the CM said in a note presented to the Union finance ministry.

"There has been a direct revenue loss of Rs 1,400 crore (per annum). A special package to bear this loss may be sanctioned for the state," Sawant informed the Centre.

The state also faces challenges in providing infrastructure for tourism, as the annual tourist inflow to the coastal state is more than the five times its population, Sawant told Sitharaman.

"The finance minister can help the state through centrally sponsored hinterland tourism project in Goa," the chief minister said.

Referring to International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Sawant pointed out that is the permanent venue for the event, however, required infrastructure could not be put in place owing to the financial crunch.

"The Centre may sanction special grants for creation of facilities such as a convention centre," Sawant said.

The chief minister also informed the finance minister that can be developed into an education and health hub.

"There is scope to set up institutions such as the New Indian Institute of Management, National Law College, All India Institute of Medical Sciences etc," he said.

First Published: Wed, December 18 2019. 20:45 IST