The ghost of “excise scam” pertaining to alcohol imports returned to haunt Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat with Leader of the Opposition Manohar Parrikar reiterating his demand on the floor of the Legislative Assembly on Thursday for a full-fledged criminal inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Mr. Parrikar, former Chief Minister, had raised the issue in the last Assembly session and had alleged an inter-State excise scam of Rs. 50 crore in alcohol imports and demanded a CBI inquiry.
Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, who holds the Finance portfolio, had responded by asking the Finance Secretary to inquire into the matter.
Mr. Parrikar reiterated his charge on Thursday during the question hour in the ongoing budget session that the inquiry was a farce as the issue had inter-State ramifications and needed to be probed by an agency such as the CBI.
Suspecting terrorist links in the alleged scam, Mr. Parrikar threatened to write to the Prime Minister or file a police complaint in case the State government remained non-serious on the issue.
Producing papers pertaining to what he felt were “bogus permits issued by the Excise Departments,” Mr. Parrikar said some of these had been from Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and some north-eastern States. He wanted the Goa government to inquire and verify whether the permits were really issued by those States. After repeated pleas of Mr. Parrikar, Speaker Pratapsing Rane admitted that “the matter is serious,” but pleaded his inability to force the government to give any promise.