Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday charged the Centre with adopting double standards towards solving the crisis arising out of current ban on the state mining industry.
While Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram acknowledges the fact that the ban on mining has contributed to the economic meltdown, his own Cabinet colleagues are behaving differently towards the problem faced by Goa, Mr. Parrikar said.
“Whatever you (Finance Minister) say in the Parliament, you should also say it in the Cabinet because few of your Cabinet colleagues are trying to stop the mining in Goa,” he said.
Union Ministry of Environment and Forest was posing a hurdle in the process of resuming mining activity, while the Prime Minister has not yet cleared the file pertaining to decision on buffer zone between mines and wildlife sanctuaries in Goa, which is crucial for the industry, Mr. Parrikar said.
The state government has already submitted the file pronouncing its stand of having one kilometre as a buffer zone, but the Centre has been delaying the announcement picking up some or other queries in the proposal, he alleged.
Mr. Parrikar was addressing a rally organised by Goa Mining People’s Front at the historic Azad Maidan in Panaji.
The rally, which had around 9,000 people participating in it, demanded immediate resumption of mining activity in the state, whose 25 per cent population is dependent on it.
Leaders from all political parties, including Leader of Opposition Pratapsingh Rane and Goa Congress unit chief Subhash Shirodkar, participated in the public meeting.
The Chief Minister also said the decision of Supreme Court to temporarily ban mining activity in Goa was taken without hearing the state.
Claiming that the state government is working overtime to ensure that the hurdles in resumption of the mining are removed, Mr. Parrikar said the suspension order on around 30 mines would be withdrawn in next 15-30 days.