Shimla: Stern action would be taken against people involved in illegal mining and the government was serious about it, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Sunday said.
The matter was discussed in the last cabinet meeting and the `Himachal Pradesh Mineral Policy-2013` was approved to regulate mines and minerals in the state and the government was committed to check illegal mining, he said.
Commending officials who took effective action in checking illegal mining, Chief Minister said the new policy would promote scientific mining, meet genuine requirement of people and also safeguard the interest of locals.
Replying to another question, Singh said the Hamirpur Parliamentary seat was not the only priority seat for Congress and it was concentrating on all four seats to make a clean sweep.
Earlier, inaugurating the first state-level Horticulture Officers` Conference-2013 organised by Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Services Association (HPHSA) here today, the Chief Minister stressed on the need for diversification of fruit cultivation and plantation of new varieties of apple and other fruits to compete in global markets.
Agro-climatic zones of the state are suitable for cultivation of almost all temperate and sub-tropical fruits like apple, pear, cherry and peach, plum, kiwi, mango, citrus fruits and strawberry, Singh said.
He said European fruits and Chinese apples were posing a threat to Himachal apple and asked Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry and Horticulture department to import new varieties of fruits to stand in global competition.
Stressing that floriculture was another area which has lot of potential in the state, Singh said officials should guide farmers to grow flowers as per demands and market requirements.