The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on Friday asked all the Ministries concerned to formulate time lines for implementation of the Ashok Chawla Committee on transparency in allocation of natural resources.

It was decided that 69 out of the 81 recommendations of the Chawla Committee, that had been accepted by the Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee in October last year be accepted and other 12 would be examined further. The Chawla Committee had submitted its report in May 2011 and it was approved by the GoM on October 15, 2011. However, since then the report has been gathering dust in the corridors of power and there has been reluctance on part of the government to put the report in public domain.

The Prime Minister had on Friday convened a meeting of Ministers and senior officials to examine the report. The meeting was attended by Mr. Mukherjee, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Jaipal Reddy, Urban Development Minister, Kamal Nath, Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal, Water Resources Minister, Pawan Bansal, Coal Minister, Sriprakash Jaiswal and the Minister of State Environment and Forests, Jayanthi Natarajan. The Principal Secretary and Secretaries of all the concerned Departments attended the meeting. The Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs made a presentation on recommendations of the Committee, an official statement from the PMO said.

The Committee was constituted to examine the approach to allocating natural resources such as land, coal, minerals, petroleum, natural gas and spectrum. The purpose was to obtain recommendations which would enhance transparency, effectiveness and sustainability in the allocation, pricing and utilization of natural resources through open, transparent and competitive mechanisms and to suggest changes in the legal, institutional and regulatory framework to implement the recommendations.

At the end of the meeting it was decided that all the 69 agreed recommendations would be pursued for implementation by individual Ministries in a timely manner. Detailed timelines will be finalised accordingly and after consultations.

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