Within days of becoming chief minister, Manohar Parrikar Monday fired his first salvo at the powerful mining lobby in Goa.
Speaking to reporters at the Secretariat Monday Parrikar said that mining output had to be curtailed and his government would not go "beyond sustainable mining" limits.
"We cannot allow extraction of 55 million tonnes like it has happened earlier. Something like 30 to 35 million tonnnes can be alright," Parrikar said, adding that a consensus could be worked out for defining sustainable mining.
Parrikar also said that the state would have to be weaned away from dependency on the mining sector. "That has to be done. Revenues from the mining industry are already slipping. Last year we earned Rs.730 crore from mining. In the year before that the state government got Rs.1,200," Parrikar said.
Parrikar, who became chief minister Friday, also said his budget which will be presented later this month would convey the government’s direction, as far as mining is concerned.
Illegal mining and environmental damage to Goa, were one of the major issues during the assembly poll campaign here, with the Congress-led alliance government being accused of abetting large-scale illegal mining.
Goa exported over 55 million tonnes of iron extracted from over 100 odd operational mining leases, as well as illegal sources across the state.
The Justice M.B. Shah commission, which is probing illegal mining, is expected to submit his report on illegal mining in Goa to the central government.