New Delhi: An inter-ministerial panel headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar will meet again after the Union Budget to take a final view on the issues related to coal linkages and environment.
     
The Group of Ministers (GoM) met on Monday but did not reach any conclusion. On being asked about the issues discussed during the meeting, Pawar said: "We have not finalized (anything today). We have asked for more information from the Coal Ministry and the Environment Ministry.
     
"And after getting that information in the next meeting we will take some view."  On the next GoM meeting, Pawar said: "This (the meeting) will be definitely after the Budget."
     
The Finance Minister is slated to present the Union Budget, 2013-14 on February 28.
     
The GoM has been set up to consider environmental and developmental issues relating to coal mining and other developmental projects. Pawar did not share the issues that were discussed at the meeting.
     
However, according to sources, the inter-ministerial panel discussed on various issues including coal linkages to KSK Energy.
     
Besides, the Environment Ministry's panel report on "inviolate" forest areas was also discussed, sources said.
     
The report of high-level Environment Ministry panel has recommended total ban on mining activities in areas of national parks, tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries and suggested that thick forests in such areas be classified as "inviolate". The panel was chaired by then Environment Ministry Secretary T Chatterjee.
     
According to the report of the Committee to Formulate Objective Parameters for Identification of Inviolate Forest Areas: "Mining blocks shall be considered inviolate if majority of grids falling within a block have been labeled as inviolate."
     
The panel had submitted the report in July, but the ministry made it public only last month amid a nationwide debate on the issue of diversion of forest areas for mining and infrastructure projects.
     
The members of the inter-ministerial panel include Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan.

(Agencies)

Latest News  from Business News Desk