Tribal affairs minister Kishore Chandra Deo on Thursday supported environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan saying that the existing laws should be complied with while giving environment clearances.
His comments came in the backdrop of the Cabinet deferring consideration of the National Investment Board (NIB) following protests by Natarajan. The finance ministry has proposed that NIB should stipulate the timeframe with which all statutory clearance should be given, a provision opposed by Natarajan and Deo.
“No environment clearance should be given to any project until there is a total compliance with the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and also unless the provisions of Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) are fully met,” Deo said on Thursday.
He said compliance with FRA and PESA should not be seen as anti-investment but “the law has been made to protect few things and it should be followed.”
His comments assume significance as plans are afoot to set up the NIB to give speedy clearances to mega projects amid concerns over delay.
The proposal to set up the NIB was expected to be considered by the Cabinet on Thursday but it has been put off amid opposition from some sections of the government.
The NIB, which will have powers to overrule ministries in terms of giving clearances, is proposed to include finance minister and law minister.