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Panaji, Jan 31 (IANS) The mining scam in Goa is only worth Rs.5,000 crore and not Rs.35,000 crore as estimated by the Justice M.B. Shah commission, chief minister Manohar Parrikar told the Goa legislative assembly Thursday.
Parrikar was replying to the motion of thanks to the governor's speech.
"The real scam is only Rs.4 crore to Rs.5 crore over the last five years. The loss to the government is in royalties only. The Shah Commission figure of Rs.35,000 crore is a wrong figure," Parrikar said, adding that Shah himself had said that the figure should be cross-checked.
Parrikar also said that a committee appointed by the state government to investigate the illegal mining scam would take around two years to nail the culprits. He said the head of the committee, retired Justice R.M.S. Khandeparkar, had told him that getting to the bottom of the matter would take two years.
"Everything will have to be probed. There are no documents. He will have to sit with a chartered accountant and calculate everything from the beginning," Parrikar said.
Mining has been banned in Goa for over two months now, after the Supreme Court, while hearing a petition filed by activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan, announced a probe by a central empowered committee.
The petition follows the revelation of a Rs.35,000 crore illegal scam exposed by a judicial commission headed by Justice M.B. Shah, who said that top mining companies, politicians, as well as bureaucrats, were beneficiaries of the scam.