No Conflict of Interest, Says Moily - The New Indian Express

No Conflict of Interest, Says Moily

Published: 25th December 2013 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 25th December 2013 11:20 AM

With barely five months to go before the general election in 2014, Oil Minister Veerappa Moily who assumed the additional charge of the environment ministry declared that no files would be kept pending at the ministry that could come in the way of projects and their clearance.

“I am the one who is accustomed to dispose of the files in the evening. Not even a single file will be taken home and not even a single file will be pending unless it requires yet another (look),” said Moily.

Interestingly, former incumbent at the Paryavaran Bhavan (which houses the Ministry of Environment,) - Jayanthi Natarajan - made a rather controversial exit last Saturday.  She will now help the party in its run up to the May 2014 general elections.

As per government’s own estimates, projects worth Rs. 10 lakh crore are pending waiting for  clearances from different ministries, a bulk of these projects are stuck as they are yet to be accorded the green nod.

Moliy’s comment came in defence of Natarajan’s exit as the industry was not particularly happy because a host of projects were delayed for want of clearance from the Environment ministry.

Incidentally last Saturday, hours after Natarajan “put in her papers” Congress vice president addressed Rahul Gandhi members of India Inc at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry AGM and acknowledged the fact that several projects awaiting the quintessential ‘green nod.’

Welcoming Congress vice president’s intervention Adi Godrej, chairman Godrej Industries said “The high stress on resolving regulation and administrative procedures in Mr Rahul Gandhi’s speech would greatly encourage investor sentiments and boost investments.”

Moily, however very pointedly said that the ‘image’ of the green regulator would never be compromised in the process of project clearances.

The senior Cabinet Minister also dismissed suggestions that there will be conflict of interest as he handles the portfolio of petroleum which also needs lot of green clearances from the Environment Ministry.

“Everything has its space. Petroleum has its space.... every ministry has a space....Ultimately, we have to go by the rules of the game which have been laid out by any ministry. We should not cross it. There should not be any fear or favour while discharging the duties,”  the Moily said.

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