CCI will hopefully clear few oil projects in 2 weeks: Montek

CCI will hopefully clear few oil projects in 2 weeks: Montek New Delhi: Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday expressed the hope that the Cabinet Committee on Investment will clear some oil exploration projects in the next two weeks.

"I believe there is a lot of progress being made and I am hopeful that may be in another two weeks or so, we will know how many of those will be cleared. I am certainly expecting very substantial success to that area," he told reporters on the sidelines of a countdown session on G-20 Summit organised by industry body CII..

Ahluwalia was replying to a question on the status of clearance for oil exploration projects for CCI.

The G-20 Summit is slated to take place in September 2013 in Saint Petersburg in Russia.

The newly set up Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) has been formed with the objective of fast clearance and approval of critically important major infrastructure projects.

Ahluwalia said: "I am aware that it is taking a little more time. But please remember that the Cabinet Committee on Investment has reviewed, I think 35 or something like that oil exploration projects."

CCI had asked the ministries of defence and oil to sort out issues like exploration area overlapping with proposed Naval base or being close to missile launching and Air Force exercise area.

Earlier this week, the Defence Ministry cleared Reliance Industries' producing KG-D6 block and gas discovery area NEC-26 along with most of the areas where it had either barred any oil and gas activity or put stringent conditions.

Eight blocks, including RIL's Krishna Godavari basin KG-D6 block and gas discovery area of NEC-25 in the North East Coast (NEC) region, were declared "No-Go" zones for reasons like overlapping with proposed Naval base or being close to missile launching and Air Force exercise area. Stringent conditions were put for another 32 exploration areas.

On the progress of B K Chaturvedi Committee which was formed to reduce the number of centrally sponsored schemes with a view to streamline public expenditure and improve efficiency, Ahluwalia said the final decision will be taken by the end of this fiscal.

"The Cabinet note has been circulated. So, I hope we will have a decision on that certainly before the end of this fiscal year, during the month of March," he added.

PTI