Two days before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Goa legislature submits its report on illegal mining, the state's chief minister Digambar Kamat said he could not be held responsible for irregularities and instead pointed a finger at the Centre.
Kamat, who has held the mining portfolio for 12 years, told HT that the Union ministries of environment and forests, shipping and mining that were involved in granting clearances were responsible for any lapses that may have occurred.
"Various agencies regulate mining in the state. They grant approvals and are responsible for monitoring the situation. They alone can revoke these clearances under their respective laws," he said.
He stressed that he had not granted approval to a single new mine during his tenure as mines minister and dismissed charges that he had favoured politicians and other influential persons at the time of renewing leases. "While renewing leases, I have taken legal opinion in every case."
HT has, in a series of reports, revealed how illegal mining has cost the state Rs 3,000 crore. Chairman of the PAC, Manohar Parrikar, had told HT at least half the mines in Goa were illegal.