Congress-led government has managed to stop the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report from being tabled in the ongoing Goa Legislative Assembly. The Goa Speaker Pratapsingh Rane said that he is not under any pressure to decide on the report; moreover four out seven of the members of the PAC committee have not vetted the contents of the PAC report or given its approval.
This move from the Congress-led government and the strategic denials of Congress and its alliance partner MGP members who were a part of the PAC to sign the final report and cast aspersion on its contents as being a witch-hunt of the Opposition party has worked in favour of the mining lobby and the politicians involved in the illegal mining.
The report prepared by the Goa Assembly PAC headed by the Leader of the Opposition Manohar Parrikar (BJP) has reportedly indicted the government agencies and blamed the nexus of politicians in power and bureaucrats for illegal mining.
The report got embroiled in a controversy as the majority of the PAC members comprising three of the ruling Congress and one MGP, an alliance partner, declined to sign it, claiming that they were not taken into confidence by the Chairman.
Today the Speaker made it clear that he has to first go through the report in its entirety and understand the legality of the majority not signing the report before moving ahead with its tabling in the Assembly.
“I am going through the report, the letter I have received from the four members who have not signed the report. I must go through it carefully, in a democracy it is a rule of a majority, therefore I have to see majority cannot function in the way they want,” Rane said.
“They (Opposition) cannot discuss it (report) inside the Assembly…will most probably may sent the draft back to the committee. You cannot just handover the report and say give a decision,” he added. Today is the last day of the brief two-day session of the Assembly.
PAC report, which has relied on the data provided by Directorate of Mines and Geology (DOMG) and Forest department, has calculated that annually around 20 million tonnes per annum of ore is exported from the state.