Days after Jayanthi Natarajan’s exit from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley Monday alleged that there have been environment ministers in last about 10 years of UPA rule who have been granting clearances for “corrupt motives”.
“There have been two categories of ministers in the MoEF — those who are committed to the protection of environment and have attempted to decline clearance to proposals to preserve ‘green’ image and the other category is of those who have granted clearances purely for collateral reasons and corrupt motives. The corridors of power are full of details of the above two categories,” Jaitley alleged in an article on his website without taking names.
The BJP leader claimed that MoEF’s handling of clearances have cost “some percentage points in the growth rates” and pointed out that delay in clearances has meant that “projects have been delayed. “Interest burdens have built up; investors have become disillusioned,” he said.
“That MoEF is costing the economy some percentage points in the growth rates is a frequently made comment. The rest of the details are too horrendous even to be mentioned,” Jaitley has written adding, “it is time that heads of government took it upon themselves to cleanse the Ministry of Environment and Forests.” He has suggested that projects should be cleared or refused on the basis of “objective criteria and not ministerial discretions”.