Government to set up board for project clearance

July 19th, 2012 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) The government will soon set up a board to review and give one-time clearance for projects, including security clearance, the Prime Minister’s Office said Thursday.

The new panel, called Project Clearance Board, will function in line with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), which is responsible for giving clearance to overseas investments.

The project clearance board will be headed by cabinet secretary. The board will include representatives from the ministries of home, defence, environment and forests, commerce, coal and departments of space other infrastructure and energy related ministries and departments.

“A common mechanism for all sectors will be evolved soon and the board will be set up in the coming weeks,” the PMO said.

The new panel will meet regularly on a monthly basis to review the status of clearances for energy and infrastructure projects and expedite issuing of security and other clearances.

Ministries would report to the board the status of issuing of clearances after following their internal due diligence processes.

The decision of setting up a new board was taken during a meeting held in the Prime Minister’s Office to review the status of clearances of oil and gas blocks awarded under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP).

The Prime Minister’s Office admitted that the progress in exploration work in over 70 oil blocks awarded under the NELP has slowed down due to lack of clearances.

One of the biggest hurdles to speedy implementation of projects is the delays faced by project implementing agencies and private firms with concessions, in obtaining security related clearances from many agencies, it said.

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