NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary Panel has recommended the constitution of a new Committee to review green laws after it found that the report of the of High Level Committee (HLC) headed by former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian to review six environment Acts if implemented would result in an unacceptable dilution of the existing legal and policy architecture established to protect the environment.
The Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests under Congress MP Ashwani Kumar, in its report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, found the objections raised by members of civil society over the HLC report prima facie valid, which needed serious reflection.
The Committee was of the view that the period of three months allotted to the HLC for reviewing the six environmental Acts was too short and there was no cogent reason for hurrying through with the report without comprehensive, meaningful and wider consultations with all the stakeholders.
The Committee, therefore, recommended that the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change(MoEF), instead of proceeding with the implementation of the recommendations contained in report, should give due consideration to the views/opinion and objections raised by the stakeholders, including environmental experts. “Some of the essential recommendations of the HLC have been doubted and would result in an unacceptable dilution of the existing legal and policy architecture established to protect our environment,” said the report. The Panel was worried that an impression should not be created that a Committee whose constitution and jurisdiction are itself in doubt, has been used to tinker with the established law and policy. The MoEF had in August set up the HLC to review the laws concerning the protection and conservation of environment, forest, wildlife, water and air. The HLC had submitted its report in November and the recommendations led to widespread criticism as they were hastily drawn up and lacked consultation.