Goa assembly Speaker Pratapsingh Rane has declined to table the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report that has unveiled a Rs.3,500 crore illegal in the assembly. PAC Chairman Manohar Parrikar had submitted the report to Speaker two days ago.
While Leader of Opposition Parrikar hoped that the report would be tabled, Rane said after receiving the report, " I will go through the report. We are in a democracy, so the majority view should be taken into consideration."
Four legislators of the ruling alliance - three from Congress and one from the Nationalist Congress Party - out of the seven-member PAC had not signed the report, Rane said. They said they needed time to study the document, which severely indicts the government.
The PAC report charges several state government agencies including the department of mines, the pollution control board, the forest department and the police, besides central government agencies like the ministry of environment and forests, the Indian Bureau of Mines and the Director General of Mines Safety with turning a blind eye to illegal mining in Goa.
The role of Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, who has been mines minister for a decade now, is also under cloud, although the report does not directly name him.
The PAC report on illegal mining has triggered a political storm in the state. Goa exported nearly 54 million tonnes of iron ore in the last fiscal year out of which nearly 7 million tonnes was allegedly illegally extracted.
Several citizens, activists and environmentalists have long been demanding stringent conditions for mining activities in Goa but the Congress-led governments at the centre and the state have not bothered to take any action to protect Goa's dwindling environment.