No urgency to discuss formalin-fish issue, ban already in place: CM

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Panaji, July 20 (IANS) There is no urgency to discuss the formalin-laced fish controversy, because import of fish from other states has already been banned, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Friday, on the sidelines of the ongoing monsoon session of the Goa legislative assembly, whose functioning was disrupted by the opposition on the second-day over this issue.

“We have already banned the import of fish so there is no urgency to discuss the issue,” Parrikar said after House proceedings were adjourned till afternoon by the Speaker Pramod Sawant, following protests by the Opposition.

The Chief Minister also said that he would be making a statement on the contentious issue on Monday. “I have already told the House that I will be giving my response to the calling attention on Monday. I need time because it involves two departments (namely) the Fisheries Department and the Food Drugs Administration Department,” Parrikar said.

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The Goa government on Wednesday had imposed a 15-day ban on import of fish from neighbouring states, after Food and Drug Administration officials claimed last week that formalin was being used to preserve fish. The BJP-led coalition government in the state has been on the backfoot ever since the controversy erupted, more so after two cabinet ministers, namely Town and Country Minister Vijai Sardesai and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, tried to downplay the use of formalin in fish, claiming it was within “permissible limits”. The claim was disputed by several experts including marine scientists at the Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography.

–IANS

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