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Web Exclusive | February 2013

Pawar assures to discuss Goa mining crisis in a meeting

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar assured protesters in Goa that he would take the cause of people affected by the ban on mining in the state at a meeting of selected union ministries.

It may be noted that the livelihood of thousands dependent on mining is threatened by the mining crisis in Goa, the country's largest exporter and second-largest producer of iron ore.

He assured that the meeting of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Mines would be held within the next two weeks and the cause of the affected people would be discussed.

He further said that he supports the resumption of "legal mining, and not the illegal one in the state. He also informed that the state government or any other agencies could take action against the illegalities in mining industry.

He asked the Goa Mining Affected People's Front (AMAPF), which was protesting the ban on mining recently, not to discourage the operations which are being conducted to adhere to the environmental norms and executed within legal framework.

Supreme Court in its interim order had suspended transportation and extraction of ore in Goa, pending report from the Central Empowered Committee (CEC).

"The stoppage of mining has begun showing its impact on the other allied industries. I received a letter from a business tycoon that the sale of trucks from his factory in Pune has dropped drastically", Pawar said.

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