Pawar speaks up for banned mining industry in Goa

Panaji, Feb 4 (IANS) Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar Monday came out openly in support of the banned mining industry in Goa.

Pawar, who is in Goa on a day's visit to oversee party affairs, met members of the pro-mining lobby who have been protesting for a week against the ban. He told reporters that there should be "no war between development and environment".

"Mining is a global phenomenon. Goa cannot turn its back on the industry. We do not support illegal mining, but there should be legal mining. It was in our manifesto. The ban is unfortunate," Pawar said.

"My efforts will be to speak to the union mines and environment ministries to ensure that the mining issue in Goa is sorted out at the earliest," Pawar said.

Mining has been banned in Goa for over two months now, after the Supreme Court, hearing a petition filed by activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, announced a probe by a central empowered committee.

The petition followed the revelation of a Rs.35,000 crore illegal scam exposed by a judicial commission headed by Justice M.B. Shah, which said that top mining companies, politicians as well as bureaucrats were beneficiaries of the scam.

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