Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's statement Monday that there was no illegal mining in the state is in contrast with his observation in the budget speech.
In his March 26 budget speech in the state assembly, Parrikar, who also holds the mining portfolio, had said: "Speaker Sir, I'm personally aware of the fact that the rural Goa is suffering on account of rampant mining activity, legal as well as illegal. I reiterate the commitment of my government to forthwith stop all forms of illegal mining."
"Incessant operations of illegal mining in the state has a tremendous negative impact on the environment, health of the people living in the mining 43 belt, valuable revenue loss to the exchequer, as the operators do not pay the due royalty on the ore exploration. I wish to categorically assure the House, that my government would under no condition tolerate any instance of illegal mining in the State," he had said in the speech.
Parrikar Monday courted controversy after he claimed that there was no illegal mining in Goa.
Parrikar's flip-flop came after five years of campaign by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against large-scale illegal mining in Goa.
Parrikar as well as the BJP had accused the ministers in the erstwhile Congress-led coalition government of being part of a Rs.25,000-crore illegal mining industry.