‘Can address Goa’s mining, tourism issues if hired as consultant’

There are ways and means through which Goa’s mining and tourism industry can be revived, former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said here on Thursday. The senior Congress leader also quipped that he can work as a consultant with the BJP-led coalition government, if it engages him as a consultant.

“But there are ways in which tourism can be revived, there are ways in which mining can be revived without affecting the environment. These are not unknown areas. Other countries have addressed the problem. We can address both — sharp dip in tourism and the practical closure of mining… in scientific and acceptable ways,” Chidambaram told a press conference in Panaji on Thursday.

“We will spell it out in our manifesto. And if the Goan government engages me as a consultant I will advise it,” he also said.

Chidambaram was in Goa on a two-day tour in the capacity as the All India Congress Committee’s senior observer for the 2022 assembly polls.

While mining activity in Goa is halted since 2018 after the Supreme Court scrapped all 88 existing mining leases citing irregularities in renewal processes, the tourism industry in the state has faced a sharp downturn in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

The senior Congressman also said that the Congress would be able to address both issues, if the people in Goa vote it to power in the upcoming polls.

“The present government is incompetent to address it. But I believe that the new government that we will present if the people vote for us, we will be able to address it,” Chidambaram said.