Giving a major push to infrastructure and energy sector, the government in the past two months has given nod to projects worth Rs. 74,000 crore which were stuck for years due to lack of various clearances.
The impetus came soon after the formation of the Cabinet Committee on Investment in January amid concerns in the government over the prolonged delays in projects ranging from oil exploration to building roads.
A key beneficiary of the CCI impetus has been the petroleum sector, where investments worth $13.42 billion for exploration and production activities in 40 oil blocks were held up because of objections raised by the Defence Ministry on account of security concerns.
The CCI, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on March 20, approved the conditional clearance given to five blocks, where investments to the tune of Rs. 52,921 crore have already been made.
The CCI decision has paved the way for investments worth Rs. 1,566 crore, an official statement said.
The processes of granting environment and forest clearances for mega projects have also been streamlined and made easier in cases such as renewal of mining leases.
"It has also been decided that no fresh Environment Clearance (EC) shall be required for a mining project at the time of renewal of mining lease, if EC was obtained under the EIA Notification of 2006," it said.
For one time capacity expansion of 25% or less, coal mining projects have now been exempted from public hearing provided that it had taken place at the time of obtaining the existing EC and the mining is confined to the existing lease area, the statement said.