Recover Rs.35,000 crore, keep 80 percent: Parrikar
Panaji, March 16 : Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Saturday threw a challenge to his detractors who have been claiming that he was soft on the mining industry indicted in a Rs.35,000 crore scam, offering them the lion's share of the sum if they recovered the money.
"If anyone recovers Rs.35,000 crore (from the mining industry), I will give them all the money. I will keep only 20 percent, which is Rs.7,000 crore. Let them keep the rest," Parrikar said, noting that recovery of revenue was not as easy as it appears.
"It is a very cumbersome process," he said.
Parrikar also targeted "one or two environmentalists" for ignoring the plight of the hundreds and thousands of mining workers, who had been rendered temporarily jobless due to the Supreme Court enforced ban on mining.
"It is a funny situation. All the mine owners, government and even union leaders are on one side, and these one or two environmentalists on the other," he said.
As chief minister, Parrikar been accused of being close the mining lobby by the opposition as well as anti-mining activists, who have demanded that the government recover dues allegedly pocketed by mining companies in Goa's multi-crore mining scam.
A judicial commission headed by former Supreme Court judge M.B. Shah has pegged Goa's mining loss at Rs.35,000 crore, and alleged a scam in the mining sector which he said was carried out by mining companies which were in cahoots with politicians and bureaucrats.