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Friday, April 23, 2021

Goa to recover dues from indicted mine owners: Pramod Sawant

Sawant was responding to a question by Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai in the Assembly.

By: Express News Service | Panaji |
Updated: March 26, 2021 3:58:22 am
Sawant said the state government had filed an affidavit in the High Court of Bombay at Goa and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed to probe the matter had so far filed 16 FIRs. (File)

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said the state government will recover its dues from mine owners indicted in the Justice M B Shah Commission Report on illegal mining in the state.

Sawant was responding to a question by Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai in the Assembly. Sardesai said it had been seven years since the Justice Shah committee submitted its report in which the illegal mining scam was pegged at over Rs 35,000 crore and asked what action the government had taken to recover the dues.

Sawant said the state government had filed an affidavit in the High Court of Bombay at Goa and the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed to probe the matter had so far filed 16 FIRs — chargesheets had been filed in eight, two are under investigation, three have been transferred and two quashed. “The SIT is on track,” Sawant told the Assembly, adding that it was not the job of the SIT to recover dues.

He said the Directorate of Mining and Geology had recovered Rs 16 crore and trials in rest of the cases were ongoing. “Recovery notices have been issued. It is going on for the last two years,” said Sawant.

In a question by Congress MLA Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco over the steps taken by the government to ensure regular supply of beef in the state in view of beef ban in Karnataka, Sawant stated in a written reply that “the Government of Goa is studying the possibility of outsourcing the Modern Abattoir of Goa Meat Complex to private companies for the period of ten years”.

Sawant stated that the estimated consumption of beef based on the meat inspection charges paid by beef dealers/traders is approximately 3,000 kg per day and no shortage of beef had been reported in Goa.

Opposition MLAs said on Thursday that while the Chief Minister had announced a “populist” budget with an eye on the Assembly elections in 2022, the budget was silent on a number of issues. Sardesai said the budget was silent on environmental issues like Mollem National Park, Mhadei river and double-tracking of railway lines. “Every remote (control) is with the Centre,” he said.

CJI to inaugurate new court building

The Goa government Thursday said the state machinery was “all set” to inaugurate the new building of the High Court of Bombay at Goa. Chief Justice of India S A Bobde will inaugurate the building on March 27 at a ceremony to be attended by 62 judges of the Bombay High Court, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Chief Minister Sawant.

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