Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday retracts and clarifies that the loss caused due to illegal mining in the state was Rs 3000-4000 crore and not Rs 50 – 100 crore.
Addressing a press conference at the state assembly, monsoon session of which is underway, the Chief Minister said 22 teams chartered accounts were working to figure out quantum of losses besides Special Intevstigation Team (SIT) of Goa Police had filed eight cases and investigation was underway.
‘We have appointed 22 teams of chartered accountants who could justify the losses. Ultimately any loss amount has to be documented then only you can recover it. It is easy to say something but to recover you have to put it on paper. Paper work has been done and based on that mining department has issued notices. Some of the losses are being tackled by Special Investigation Team (SIT) that you may not be able to recover because you do not know who are the people because many people would have just disappeared. SIT and chartered accountat team will together formulate on the total loss which according to me is around 3,000-4000 crore,’ he said.
Earlier, speaking during Question Hour in the state assembly the Chief Minister had said, ‘ The Rs 35,000 crore mining scam estimated by Justice M B Shah Commission was based on a wrong survey conducted by the Commission. The Shah Commission report is based on survey carried out by handheld gadgets… They did not do a proper survey. They should have done a proper survey…”The Shah Commission survey is wrong.”
Parrikar, who holds mines portfolio, also said the Shah Commission had estimated that the mining companies had shifted the lease boundaries and had appropriated additional 580 odd hectares. However, a detailed survey conducted by the state government had revealed that the land encroached by the mining companies was around ten hectares.
The Chief Minister, who was replying to a question raised by former Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro, said the whole value of the ore extracted was not a loss to the state government.
“Value of the value of the ore is not loss the government. The loss to the giovernment is the royalty (on ore extracted),” he said. He also said that the component of revenues earned by the mining sector in Goa’s gross domestic product (GDP) was only five per cent in 2017-18 compared to 17 to 18 per cent in 2012, the year when mining was stopped.
“When mining was stopped in 2012, mining GDP component was 17 to 18 per cent. Now it is up to five per cent,” he said.