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Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

Wrong to classify coconut as palm: Parliament panel

Terming the Goa government's decision to classify coconut as 'palm' instead of 'tree' as 'wrong', the panel seeks Centre's intervention

Panaji: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment, Forest and Science on Saturday termed as “wrong" the Goa government’s decision to classify coconut as ‘palm’ instead of ‘tree’ and sought Centre’s intervention in the matter.

“The committee, headed by Rajya Sabha MP Ashwani Kumar, took stock of the situation vis-a-vis the recent decision by the state government to classify Coconut as a ‘palm’ and not a ‘tree’," a committee member told PTI. “It was noted that classifying Coconut as a ‘palm’ is a wrong decision, which is not in favour of protection of the fruit. Coconut has given so much to Goa, and one cannot play with its preservation.

“The committee expects the central government to intervene so that the amendment is withdrawn," the official said. The state government, in the recent amendment to the Goa, Daman and Diu Preservation of Trees Act, classified coconut as a ‘palm’, triggering controversy.

The committee, in the meeting held in South Goa, raised concerns about the Goa Investment Promotion Board (IPB), a statutory body set up for speedy disposal of investment proposals. “The committee felt that Goa IPB is illegal and sought details of all the proposals cleared by the committee," the official said.

The committee members said the way investment proposals are cleared by the IPB, it would create hundreds of smaller special economic zones (SEZs) in the state. The parliamentary committee, after its meeting in Bengaluru, has arrived on a two-day visit to Goa.

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