Centre wakes to overhaul green laws after three years
By Richa Sharma | Published: 16th July 2017 10:54 AM |
NEW DELHI: Stagnant for three years since a high-level expert committee submitted its report to overhaul India’s green laws and introduce an umbrella environment law, the Narendra Modi government is now keen to switch on the fast-track mode and come out with a decision. In this regard, the Central government’s think-tank, NITI Aayog, recently vetted a document on the future course of action for the Union environment ministry, and submitted it to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Sources said the onus to take a final decision on the report, following consultation with the states/UTs/NGOs/technical institutions, the public and other stake holders, now rests on the environment ministry. “The report submitted by the committee (under former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian)—constituted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to review various Acts related to environment, forest, wildlife—provides useful inputs to make the process of granting clearances more transparent and effective,” read the document sent to PMO.
Sources explained that the environment ministry has been under the scanner for its inability in bringing major changes in the environmental policies even after three years since the government came into power. “It is learnt that the government is looking at reforms in the environment sector and exploring possibilities of introducing them before the end of its term. This may soon bring the TSR Subramanian Committee report out of the cold storage as it had suggested detailed changes in the environment regulation,” added sources.
Since taking charge in 2014, the NDA government had been pushing hard for simplified environmental procedures keeping in mind the changing scenario and developmental needs to keep up India’s growth trajectory.
The environment ministry had put the report in the public domain and also sent copies of it to all state governments. “The report is still under consideration as several states have raised serious concerns on the proposed recommendations,” said a senior environment ministry official.