New Delhi: The process of granting environmental clearances has become faster as the government has reduced the number of days taken to complete the procedure from 640 to 108, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said Friday.
Speaking at the national council meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) here, he also promised to further bring down the time taken to grant clearances to a period of two to three months.
“Earlier, the environment ministry was addressed as roadblock ministry or tax ministry. There was an atmosphere that there will be no progress of the country. But we showed that environment protection and growth can go together,” Javadekar said while addressing over 100 industrialists at the meeting.
“On an average, it used to take 640 days in granting environment clearances. When I was environment minister for two years, I brought it down to 180 days and now, when I took review, it has come down to 108 days. I promise you that in the coming days we will do our best to bring it down to three or two months,” the minister said.
Javadekar said growth and environment protection are possible together and asked for support and suggestions from industrialists.
“In this endeavour, we will not compromise with the environment. Environment protection is important but the country’s progress is also important. I believe growth and environment protection both are possible together. That’s what we are pledging. We’ll do it and your (CII) suggestions are welcome,” he said.
Javadekar assured to make the environment clearance process not only faster but also transparent to ensure progress.
“I can promise you that we not only want to reduce the days of processing the applications but make processes more transparent, taking care of environment and also ensuring progress. I want your suggestions on it on minister.Efcc@gov.In. Suggestions are welcome,” he told the CII members.
Javadekar was open to the suggestion made by a CII member to make a council, on the line of the GST council, to facilitate faster environmental clearances.
The Union minister stressed on the need to invest more in innovation to change the economy for the better.
He sought the CII’s participation in the conference of parties on climate change, which is scheduled to be held in December, to help the government shape its strategy in international lobbying.
“I want to make two specific requests to you that CII or any business organisation should help the government in lobbying at the international forum more actively because in the Paris agreement I have seen how Japanese, Chinese businesses shape government opinions and strategy, and do lobbying at the international forum.
“You have to participate. Now, the Paris agreement is ratified. America is out of it. We don’t know their future. In COP 25 in Chile this December, I want your active collaboration where you can give inputs and argue as well,” he said.
Stressing on the need to innovate, Javadekar said industries and exports will not grow unless there is ownership of innovation in India.