New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has removed an Assistant Director-level case officer working the AgustaWestland case at the financial probe agency, holding him responsible for an incident where Ratul Puri had disappeared while summoned for interrogation. Speaking to the Millennium Post, a senior official said that the AD, who was the Investigating Officer of the case, was first issued a show-cause notice, following which he was removed from the case. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’He said that an explanation has been sought from the IO as to how Puri, who is the nephew of Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath could have fled while questioning. Late in July this year, Puri had been summoned to be questioned in connection with the Rs 3,600 crore VVIP Chopper scam and after a few hours of interrogation, he had asked for a toilet break. However, Puri had given ED officials the slip and left the building where he was being deposed. Officials had at the time said they tried to contact him on the phone after he failed to come back and found that his number was switched off. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KHowever, at the time, one of Puri’s lawyer’s had said that his client had not fled from questioning but had in fact informed officials that he had a busy schedule and yet answered the summons. But eventually, the ED registered a separate money-laundering case against him and his father’s company Moser Baer, based on a bank fraud case by CBI and then proceeded to arrest him. He is still in ED custody in connection with the Moser Baer probe.
New Delhi: Aiming to boost India’s mineral output by 200 per cent in the next seven years, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi on Thursday said about Rs 1,500 crore lying in exploration trust, could be used for accelerating this work. He said the mining industry is undergoing reforms through transformative investor friendly interventions like the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act 2015, that introduced transparent and competitive auction process for grant of mineral concessions besides setting up of National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) to accelerate mineral exploration activity. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”More than Rs 1,500 crore has been accumulated in the NMET fund during last three years. And as far as the information I have, today out of that …around Rs 200 crores have been spent…For exploration activities there is a fund to invest,” he said urging geoscientists to come forward. Mines and Coal Minister Joshi urged the geo-scientists to come forward to unearth deep-seated minerals as demands on mineral resources in the country are at an all-time high. “Mining sector has a pivotal role to play in the ‘Make in India’. Growth of economy is dependent on uninterrupted supply of minerals, which form the basic raw materials for industry. The Government aims to increase mineral production (in value terms) by 200 per cent in 7 years,” the Minister said. He said to boost mining, National Mineral Policy 2019 has been unveiled that proposes to attract private investment through various incentives like financial package, right of first refusal at the time of auction etc.