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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Extortion in mining being probed: Sukhbir

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, October 21, 2013
First Published: 18:45 IST(21/10/2013) | Last Updated: 18:47 IST(21/10/2013)

Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday said the state police were probing the reported extortion in the sand and gravel mining business in the state.

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Talking to reporters after the cabinet meeting here, Sukhbir said in response to a question that an investigation was on regarding news reports about 'goonda tax'.

He said being the home minister of the state, he was keeping tabs on illegal mining, besides issuing strict directions not to spare anyone indulging in this practice.

He said the police had been instructed to immediately lodge an FIR against those found indulging in illegal mining.

"Strict instructions have been issued to register cases in case of any complaint of illegal mining anywhere in the state," he said. Zonal IGs (inspectors general) had been deputed to look into all such complaints, he added.

He said though illegal mining prevailed across the country, Punjab was the only state where the maximum numbers of FIRs had been registered against culprits.

On being asked about the delay in notification of the new industrial policy, Sukhbir clarified that it was on the anvil. He said due to drastic changes as per recommendations of industrialists, it had taken some time to finalise the policy.

Predicting that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) would form the government at the Centre following the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Sukhbir said the country's electorate was eagerly waiting for the polls to "wipe out the worst Congress-led UPA government after Independence".

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