Separate biodiversity clearance to impact infra projects: Ficci
New Delhi: Expressing concerns over the Environment Ministry's move for separate biodiversity clearance for projects, Ficci Wednesday said the move is expected to have an "adverse impact" on infrastructure projects.
Ficci President R V Kanoria said adding additional layer of clearances may be counterproductive and result in diluting the positive sentiment arising out of the recent spate of reforms that the government has announced.
"...Such a move is likely to have an adverse impact on the progress of infrastructure and development projects in the country," he said in a statement.
The Environment Ministry is planning to add biodiversity conservation as a new criterion to grant environmental and forest clearances for industrial and mining projects.
"...The move to add biodiversity conservation as a new criterion to grant environment and forest clearance will further harden the process of obtaining green clearances," he added.
Kanoria said that the measure would only add another layer of complexity for industry.
He said the industry has a responsible role to play in the sustainable use and management of biodiversity.
However, responsibility on this front needs to be driven in a cooperative and collaborative spirit and not through coercion, he said.
"Another stringent clearance norm would only turn out to be a major stumbling block stalling the growth of various development projects," he added.
Kanoria said that so far the country has lacked in building infrastructure fast enough to cope with the needs of the expanding economy "because environmental approvals have become harder to come by, besides other hurdles such as land acquisition".
"If clearances, particularly environment and forest clearances, to various projects are delayed, project execution will be severely hampered," the President said.
Rather than including biodiversity as another layer in the clearance process, he said the need of the hour is to promote the cause of biodiversity through mass awareness programmes and sensitise industry towards sustainable use and management of biodiversity.