Days after NCP chief Sharad Pawar accused Manohar Parrikar of being responsible for closing down the mining industry in Goa, the former Chief Minister on Tuesday said mining can be successful in the coastal state only if mine owners control their greed.
“Goa was having 50 MT extraction annually when people started mining around all the places in Goa. Mining can be successful in Goa if they (mine owners) control their greed,” Parrikar told reporters.
The minister also said that now mining in Goa has started in a full-fledged manner but within the restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court.
“May be another, five to ten million metric tons can be added more to the 20 MT extraction cap imposed by the apex court,” he said.
Parrikar said the Centre has got funds worth Rs 300 crore which can be used to construct mining corridor for transportation of the ore.
Responding to a question on state government’s failure to recover the money allegedly involved in illegal mining, Parrikar ruled out that the total loss to the state exchequer was Rs 35,000 crore as pointed out by Shah Commission.
“The public accounts committee of Goa Assembly headed by me is clear that the loss due to illegal mining is up to Rs 4,000-5,000 crore. The loss which we are measuring is a royalty loss to the state,” he said.
Parrikar claimed that despite having a ban, the state government had recovered Rs 1,300 crore from mining firms, which was possible only due to rule of the BJP government.
Pawar in a public meeting at Vasco on Sunday night had slammed the Defence Minister for closing down mining industry in the state after he took over the reins in 2012 as the CM.
“People who were dependent on the mining industry were forced to face a bleak future with one decision of Parrikar,” he had said.