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Jayanthi to talk NIB with PM

Natarajan said she would raise the issue in the Cabinet

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
October 23, 2012 1:03:50 am

Unrelenting in her opposition to a proposed National Investment Board,Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan Monday said that she would personally speak to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue in an effort to ensure the environmental issues are not sidelined.

Natarajan said she would raise the issue in the Cabinet. The minister has already written a strongly worded letter to the PM on the issue,complaining that the proposed NIB did not have any constitutional authority and had the potential to undermine the role of the ministry. “I will speak to the PM about it,and raise the issue in the Cabinet meetings. We have concerns. My job is to protect the environment and I will do that job with full responsibility,” she said.

The government has mooted the idea of a NIB,a sort of a semi-Cabinet headed by the PM and involving all relevant ministers,to discuss and set timelines for clearances to important industrial and infrastructural projects,that many ministers feel are getting unduly delayed by the lack of action and transparency in the environmental rules and regulations. The NIB is envisaged to discuss only high-value projects and professes not to over-ride the jurisdiction of the Environment Ministry,as far as the grant of clearances or otherwise is concerned.

Natarajan,however,has made her opposition very clear. A Cabinet note to constitute the NIB has been circulated to various ministries for their comments.

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