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Need to streamline environmental clearances: Economic Survey

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New Delhi, July 9 :

India’s Economic Survey 2013-14 Wednesday said there was a need to streamline environmental clearances for infrastructure projects for giving a boost to core sectors such as power, fertilisers, coal, steel, cement and refining.

The survey presented in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that: “There is need for better coordination amongst various central ministries regarding integration of environmental concerns at the planning stage of a project.”

The survey noted that rapid economic growth in recent years has put enormous pressure on existing infrastructure, particularly transport, energy and communications.

“It (survey) observes unless it is significantly improved, infrastructure will continue to be a bottleneck for growth and an obstacle to poverty reduction.”

The survey pointed out that time overruns in the implementation of projects apart from regulatory approvals, land acquisition and environmental clearances has become a major cause for underachievement in many of the infrastructure sectors.

Long-term finance for infrastructure projects is also one of the issues that needs to be addressed for giving a boost to the sectors, the survey said.

“A robust and transparent issuance and trading process, uniform stamp duty across states and a well devised credit enhancement mechanism are some of the issues which need immediate attention for development of the fixed instrument market in India,” the survey added.

(IANS)