Thursday, October 28, 2010

Steel Minister is POSCO Ambassador?

Dear All,

Believe the Union Steel Minister and a corporate can violate environmental laws of the nation if the Prime Minister of the nation supports it.  See the following news and you would not take seconds to know what makes this minister an ambassador of POSCO.  Its the 51,000 crore mega investment, the largest FDI in the country.  

To justify the project the Minister does not refrain from questioning the credibility and professional capabilities of the Meena Gupta headed committee members who have been appointed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, in public and after the reports have been submitted!

This comes a day after India's Coal Minister wanted forests to be given away for coal mining which would fuel POSCO type growth models.   In a normal sense one would believe that these Ministers are just working in all sincerity for promotion their respective ministries' agenda, the reality is different.  In a normal circumstance a Minister would not come in pubic against another Minister.  This is therefore a clear cut indication of accelerated corporate game plan at Delhi post Niyamgiri verdict of MoEF.  

Obviously MoEF is under pressure but it all depends on how the Prime Minister of India will react.  The Steel Minister has made him a party in justifying his open support for POSCO.  And we are all eagerly waiting to see what is the real meaning of 'Aam Admi' for the Congress Party - 'Common Man' or 'POSCO'.  

Thanks and regards,

Ranjan Panda

Virbhadra asks Jairam to be realistic on Posco
October 28, 2010   12:26:45 PM

PNS | Bhubaneswar

The fate of Rs 51,000 crore mega steel project Posco on Wednesday received a positive approach as Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh asked Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh to be realistic while considering approvals for the South Koean project at Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district. Singh's approach comes as a relief for the State Government which desperately wants not to give away the biggest project.

Sources said, the Union Steel Minister opined that the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) should be practical and should refrain from dogmatic views while considering approvals the biggest foreign direct investment project in the country. Singh is stated to have consented that MoEF should think over time and again before giving negative decision on the project. He also flayed Ramesh for constituting Meena Gupta Committee which investigated issues related to violation of Forest Rights Act and Environment Protection Act in the proposed site at Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.

"While Prime Minister has provided supports the 12 million tonne capacity steel project, what was the need of sending an investigating team to the site," Singh is stated to have asked Jairam.

Singh also alleged that the recommendation of three members of the Meena Gupta panel was not appropriate as the faction has gone beyond their professional capabilities. He daid the two of the three members are experts in the field of environment and the one member was a member of previous NC Saxena Committee. How can their recommendations would be fair beyond their professional capabilities, the Union Minister observed. After two separate recommendations submitted by the Meena Gupta Committee before the MoEF, Forest Advisory Committee meeting was held on October 25 and as per the latter's request, the MoEF has asked the Union Tribal Welfare Ministry to give a report whether traditional tribal people were inhabiting in the proposed site.

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