Panaji, Jul 23 (IANS): Goa's Bharatiya Janata Party Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Monday blamed the Congress-led central government for illegal mining in Goa, saying it gave environmental clearances without checking ground realities.
He also admitted that there were 24 instances of illegal mining in the state since 2007.
The chief minister accused the central government of being scared of the Justice M.B. Shah Commission report on illegal mining.
Parrikar was responding to a query from Congress legislator Mauvin Godinho, during question hour in the state assembly.
"The central government is the basic perpetrator of illegalities. They have been giving environment clearances (for mining) without checking leases and leasers and ground realities," Parrikar told the assembly.
The central government and the BJP-led coalition government in Goa have been at loggerhead, especially on Parrikar's controversial suggestion this month to harvest open dumps of iron ore, which has raised the hackles of green activists.
The central government has outrightly rejected Parrikar's move, claiming that sanction from a central government agency was essential for clearing of iron ore dumps.
Parrikar told the assembly that the central government earned in excess of Rs.5,000 crore from mining extraction and exports out of Goa and that the state was at a disadvantage when it came to its financial share in the central kitty.
"They earn more than Rs.5,000 crore from mining. And we have to face the environmental damage. Formulas used by planning or finance commissions are disadvantageous to our state," Parrikar said.
Parrikar has now accused the central government of being scared of the report of the Justice M.B. Shah Commission, which has been appointed to probe illegal mining in Goa and the rest of the country.
"They are scared of the Shah commission," Parrikar said.
Parrikar, who has led a campaign in the recent past against illegal mining for seven long years, last week said there was no illegal mining in Goa. However, in yet another flip-flop Monday, Parrikar, who is also the state mine's minister, also admitted to 24 instances of illegal mining in Goa since 2007.