Development not at the cost of environment: new CII chief (Interview)April 26th, 2011 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) The vigilant stance adopted by the environment ministry should be appreciated and it is time everybody, including industries, paid heed to environment laws, the newly appointed president of the Confederation of Indian Industry, B. Muthuraman, has said.
In an interview to IANS, Muthuraman, who is also vice chairman of Tata Steel, said: “The environment ministry is doing the right thing. In this country, for many years, not many people have adhered to environment laws.”
“All that the environment ministry is doing now is to make sure that people abide by the laws and at the same time they are discussing whether any law needs to be amended,” he added.
The ministry of environment and forests has been at the forefront of resisting development activities that are blatantly at the cost of damaging the country’s ecology.
Several big ticket proposals like that from South Korean steel maker Posco in Orissa have been subjected to rigorous scrutiny, resulting in implementation delays. Posco finally got the approval in January this year but with 32 additional riders.
Also growing pollution of water resources by industries has become a cause of worry in many areas.
“If a project has been stopped or a project has been stalled, you can’t put the blame on the environment ministry. You have to see where the fault lies. Every project in this country should be environmentally correct,” said Muthuraman.
Asked if norms need to be strengthened that would require companies to offset the damage caused to the environment by undertaking activities like afforestation, the CII president responded in the affirmative.
“Let us say, you are buying a 1,000 acre land and let’s assume it has 1,000 trees. I am in favour of asking the guy who is buying the land to plant 5,000 trees. But you have to check, you have to make sure it is implemented.”
Increasing pressure from a growing population and development has reduced India’s forest cover to less than 21 percent, from 33 percent in 1947.
Muthuraman, who took over as the chief of the apex industry body on April 9, also unveiled a five-pronged strategy to achieve double-digit growth, which included steps to improve manufacturing output, boost agricultural production and bring about key reforms like implementation of the Goods and Service Tax.
Speaking on the slow pace of reforms the Tata Steel vice-chairman said: “Whatever reforms we have done so far, it has paid a very rich dividend. But I know in a democracy these things take a bit of time. There is no point in blaming that it isn’t happening fast enough. We have to find ways as to how can it happen quicker.”
“That is why we are talking about implementing the Goods and Service Tax, which is a major tax reform and which will increase the GDP (gross domestic product) by at least 1-1.5 percent.”
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- Double-digit growth will need key reforms: new CII president - Apr 25, 2011
- Conditional nod to Posco project in Orissa (Lead) - Jan 31, 2011
- Patnaik welcomes clearance for Posco project - Jan 31, 2011
- India approves South Korea's $12 billion steel plant - Jan 31, 2011
- Final decision on Posco by January end, says Jairam Ramesh - Dec 29, 2010
- Environmental panel seeks more information on POSCO - Nov 30, 2010
- Posco, industry welcome conditional nod to Orissa project - Jan 31, 2011
- Jairam Ramesh grants final approval to Orissa's Posco project - May 02, 2011
- Orissa gets final nod for Posco project (Lead) - May 02, 2011
- Green tribunal scraps Posco's $12bn Odisha project (Lead) - Mar 30, 2012
- Posco's $12 bn Orissa project gets conditional nod (Second Lead) - Jan 31, 2011
- Orissa Govt. hopeful of Posco not shifting its proposed steel plant from the State - Nov 13, 2010
- POSCO final decision in a week: Jairam Ramesh - Jan 24, 2011
- Anti-Posco agitators held, released - Jun 03, 2011
- Land acquisition for Posco project soon: Orissa - Jan 31, 2011
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