The backbone of Goa’s economy, mining, has come to a standstill in the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state Power Minister Nilesh Cabral said, according to PTI.

The tourism industry has also taken a hit due to the ongoing pandemic, because of which the state is forced to borrow close to Rs 400 crore every month. 

“Today the state is borrowing Rs 300-Rs 400 crore every month to sustain,” the minister said during a webinar.

“…our share of GST takes time to come. It should be every month because the state is suffering badly. The Centre does not give us loan. They give us borrowing limits. We are using all the borrowing limits,” he added.

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Cabral also noted that mining leases have been renewed across the country except in Goa, due to which the state’s ‘socio-economic situation’ is hard-pressed. 

Mining operations in Goa came to a halt in March 2018 after the Supreme Court suspended 88 mining leases. 

The Centre had said back in November that it is ‘keen on finding a solution’ to the Goa mining issue, especially since it is the primary economic activity in the state. Union Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi had then said that the judicial order could not be ignored.

Mining partners in Goa had previously made an appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his intervention to protect the livelihood of the people in the state.