Environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan on Wednesday termed the perception that environment ministry was blocking industrial and mining project as "wrong" and said only a minuscule amount of mining permitted was being mined.
Speaking to reporters after a conference on climate change, the minister said though the environment ministry has given license for mining of 830 million tonnes of coal, only a very less quantity of the minerals was being mined.
"I believe that the ministry of environment is wrongly viewed as a stumbling block. We can assure with figures and facts that we have given clearances for both for coal mining and in terms of other clearances way beyond the energy targets, even one projected by the 12th Plan (2012-17)," she said.
The environment ministry has been received flak of mining ministries and industry for causing delay in the approving mining projects, thereby slowing down India's economic growth.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has constituted a GoM on Coal in February last year to iron out issues impeding coal production.
On the power sector, Natarajan said the environment ministry has given licenses for generating 2 lakh MW of electricity, though the target in the 12th Plan is one lakh MW. "And that is not the environment ministry stands in the way of power generation and coal mining," the minister said.