in 2012-13 amid environment-related hurdles and is under pressure from power companies to step up supplies.
Although there is a mandated time frame for each clearance, delays occur because of unsatisfactory administrative arrangements in place to support the procedure for granting or refusing clearances. A tug-of-war is going between different ministries, especially Finance Ministry and Ministry of Environment wherein recently MOF proposed for a setup of National Investment Board in order to administer a speedy process of granting environmental licenses. Recently in a welcome step, The environment ministry has simplified the procedures for granting clearances to special economic zones as it seeks to shed the anti-industry image. Not to forget,the environment ministry is seen by industry as a big hurdle in project execution as many large investment proposals have been blocked because of issues with the ministry. For example, coal ministry has repeatedly complained that environmental clearances were a big hurdle in its effort to raise coal output. Numerous coal mines cannot be developed because they do not have environmental clearance. According to the National Highways Authority of India, around 26 highway projects are pending with the environment ministry for environmental and forest clearances.
In recent times, The Ministry of Environment has taken a number of steps to ensure timely decisions on the applications for environmental clearances by: constituting sector specific Expert Appraisal Committees (EACs) for appraisal of thermal, hydro and nuclear power projects and regular meeting of the EACs Hopefully, investment scenario will witness a big boom once proper and effective policy measures are taken in this regard.
(This entry is part of our FE MASTERMIND contest. The views expressed in this article are personal and not that of the newspaper.)