The fate of the Goa legislature’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on illegal mining hangs in the balance.
The report will, in all likelihood, not be tabled on the floor of the Assembly on Friday, the second and final day of the Assembly’s current session.
Speaker of the Goa Assembly Pratapsingh Rane told HT that the PAC report was a draft report. “I am studying the report to see if it can be tabled. Four of the seven members [on the panel] have rejected it. It is therefore a draft report; not a final one,” he said.
Sources said Rane would have two options if he were not in favour of tabling the report. He could give his ruling against tabling it in the Assembly or reserve the ruling till he reaches a decision.
If he rejects the report, the Congress-led government in the state will not take any action on it.
If he reserves verdict, the uncertainty over its tabling will continue till the next Assembly session.
The report, which has commented on the Goa government’s role in the mining scam, was presented to Rane by leader of Opposition and PAC chairman Manohar Parrikar on October 5.
Parrikar has threatened to make the report public if it is not tabled on Friday.
“There is nothing like voting for or against the report. If it is not tabled, I will hold a press conference and reveal all details. Let the Speaker give reasons why the report cannot be tabled,” he said.
On Wednesday, Parrikar had told the Assembly that almost half the iron ore exported from the state was illegal. Sources in the government said the value of illegal ore exported in the last five years was Rs 2,776 crore, and that of ore extracted in violation of green and mining laws came to more than Rs 4,000 crore annually.
HT had, in a series of reports, pegged the value of illegal ore at Rs 3,000 crore and revealed that half the mines in Goa were illegal.
A day before the Assembly session, four ruling alliance members had rejected the PAC report and refused to sign on it.
They claimed Parrikar had not given them the report in advance and they did not have time to go through it before signing.
A Congress member, Agnelo Fernandes, also took a copy of the report away with him, which is against the rules of the House.
“I will see the minutes of the meeting to know the opinion of dissenting voices. Once I go through the report, I will put my remarks in writing,” said Rane.