No central aid for regions hit by suspension of mining: Patel



Panaji: Union Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel on Saturday ruled out central aid for the areas where halt to mining activity has hit the economy.

"Centre can offer financial package for specific projects. If the state faces a financial crunch, it cannot be helped," he said here.

The Supreme Court last month stayed the transportation and extraction of iron ore in Goa, pending a report from the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC).

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had hinted at taking an all-party delegation to Delhi to seek financial assistance.

Patel alleged that the BJP-led government in Goa had not done enough to find solution. "My request to Goa government is it should take up the matter with the Supreme Court to find a solution," he said. "I was told that Goa government is in deep financial crisis, making it difficult even to pay salaries," he added.

Patel said his party, NCP, had taken up the issue of restarting of mining in Goa with the Union Mines Ministry and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

"Some issues need to be taken up by the state government. Parrikar government cannot absolve itself from the responsibility," he said.

On the Justice M B Shah commission report which speaks about rampant illegal mining in Goa, Patel said the report "needs to be discussed properly" as it had never been discussed in the Parliament.

Patel also ruled out nationalisation of mining in Goa, as demanded by several labour unions.

PTI