Expressing concern over the view that environment clearance had become a “source of corruption,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said the matter needs to be addressed to make the process fair and hassle-free.
“Environment clearances have become a new form of Licence Raj and a source of corruption,” he said at the one-day National Conference of State Ministers of Environment and Forests here.
“This is a matter that needs to be addressed. There are trade-offs that have to be made while balancing developmental and environmental concern. But the procedures must be fair, transparent and hassle-free,” he said. Drawing attention to discrepancies in the Environmental Impact Assessment Reports, he said the September 2006 Notification of the Ministry of Environment and Forests was a major attempt to rationalise the system of mandatory environmental clearance. “I would urge all the States who have not yet established State EIA Authorities to do so. Effective coordination between the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and the States is vital if we are to build a credible and efficient system of assessment and clearance.”