Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday assured 'food security' to all those affected by the halting of mining activity, which is likely to impact more than three lakh people dependent on it.
“The government will ensure that no one starves due to halting of mining activity. We will make sure that there is enough (food) for everyone's livelihood,” Parrikar said addressing the 52nd Goa Liberation Day at Campal ground.
The state was liberated from Portuguese colonial rule in 1961 on this day.
The current crisis looming large on the mining industry is a matter of serious concern for the government, Parrikar said.
“The government is well aware of the difficulties faced by the people from the mining belt. We are providing financial help to those people impacted by the closure,” he said.
The chief minister's statement came a day after thousands of people dependent on mining industry held a rally in Panaji city demanding immediate resumption of the activity.
Iron ore extraction has been put on hold in wake of the order of Supreme Court, which is currently investigating the illegal mining through its Central Empowered Committee (CEC).
Parrikar said the government is working to create employment opportunities in the mining sector.
The government is in favour of immediate resumption of legal mining, which is done taking into consideration the environmental aspect, he said.
On corruption in the state, he said the graft level has come down by almost 50 per cent from the time he took over the reigns.
“We are working towards zero tolerance towards corruption. The aim is to reduce it by almost 80-90 per cent,” Parrikar said, appealing people to “cooperate in government's endeavour to have a corruption-free state”.