The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, on Thursday announced the constitution of the Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukerhjee to find a resolution to the vexed issue of ‘go' and ‘no go' areas in the coal blocks.

The constitution of the GoM was notified on Thursday and it is likely to meet within a week.

The Union Cabinet had, on January 13, decided to refer to a GoM the controversial issue following sharp differences between the Environment Ministry, Coal and Power Ministries over the issue of allowing mining of coal in certain sensitive areas.

The other members of the GoM include Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Law and Justice Minister Veerapan Moily, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Surface Transport Minister C. P. Joshi, Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

“The GoM will meet in the next three-four days or within a week to deliberate on issues like ‘go' and ‘no-go', among others,” Mr. Jaiswal told reporters on the sidelines of an Assocham event here.

“The main issues to be discussed at the meeting are in relation to the environment and forest issues with regard to the coal blocks, rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) policy and offtake, among others,” he said.

Keywords: coal blocksmining

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