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Jairam Ramesh calls for revamp of mining sector

Ahmednagar, Sun, 11 Mar 2012 ANI

Ahmednagar, Mar 11 (ANI): Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has said that the mining sector of the country needed a revamp, as the current methods of mining would invite an environmental disaster.


Ramesh said the threat of illegal mining was rampant in many states of the country.


"Well, illegal mining is a very serious issue in state after state. When I was minister for environment and forest I confronted this problem in Uttarakhand, in Goa, in Karnataka, parts of Maharashtra, state after state. By the way let me say that not only illegal mining but legal mining is also a problem," he told the media here.


"Legal mining also has very severe and serious adverse environmental consequences. The mining sector in India needs to do a complete rethink. The way we do our mining is environmentally disastrous and socially very damaging," he added.


Commenting on the upcoming Budget Session of Parliament, Ramesh said that he expects an increase in funding for improving drinking water supply and rural sanitation.


"I expect the most significant increase to take place in water supply and sanitation, drinking water supply and sanitation. The finance minister has promised a very significant increase in the outlay," said Ramesh.


"We are hoping for a very significant increase in the outlay for the Prime Minister Rural Roads project. So, these are the two programmes on which we expect a very significant increase," he added.


The three-month long session will begin on March 12 and continue till May 22.


Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will present the General Budget on March 16 and Parliament will adjourn on March 30 to enable Standing Committees to examine the demand for grants of various ministries and prepare their reports. The second phase of the session begins on April 24.


Meanwhile, Ramesh also congratulated Uttar Pradesh chief minister-elect Akhilesh Yadav.


"Well, I congratulate my good friend Akhilesh (Yadav), I know him very well, he is an environmentalist, he used to meet me very often when I was Minister for Environment and Forests, he has studied in my home state of Karnataka, he likes 'masala dosa', so we have many things in common. I wish him all the very best," said Ramesh.


"He may be a political adversary, but that's immaterial now, he has to provide good governance in Uttar Pradesh and I am sure that the Congress party will play the role of a constructive opposition," he added.


Akhilesh Yadav, who played a major role in the victory of the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the recently concluded assembly elections, has been chosen to become the youngest Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.


Yadav, 38, currently MP from Kannauj, has been credited for the party's election victory. He has won three Lok Sabha elections since 2000.


He was nominated to the top post by SP legislators at a meeting in Lucknow, provincial capital of Uttar Pradesh, earlier on Saturday. (ANI)


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