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Economic Survey: Need to streamline environmental clearances

IANS     July 9, 2014

The Economic Survey for 2013-14 financial year has said there is a need to streamline environmental clearances for infrastructure projects for giving a boost to core sectors such as power, fertilisers, coal, steel, cement and refining.

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The survey presented in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that: "There is need for better coordination amongst various central ministries regarding integration of environmental concerns at the planning stage of a project."

The survey noted that rapid economic growth in recent years has put enormous pressure on existing infrastructure, particularly transport, energy and communications.

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"It (survey) observes unless it is significantly improved, infrastructure will continue to be a bottleneck for growth and an obstacle to poverty reduction."

The Economic Survey also pointed out that time overruns in the implementation of projects - apart from regulatory approvals, land acquisition and environmental clearances - has become a major cause for underachievement in many of the infrastructure sectors.

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Long-term finance for infrastructure projects is also one of the issues that needs to be addressed for giving a boost to the sectors, the survey said.

"A robust and transparent issuance and trading process, uniform stamp duty across states and a well devised credit enhancement mechanism are some of the issues which need immediate attention for development of the fixed instrument market in India," the survey added.

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