No-objection nod for forest land use biggest difficulty: Jharkhand CM

 Holding that getting no-objection certificate for the use of forest land is biggest difficulty in carrying out development, the Jharkhand government on Sunday advocated the need for delegating the process of giving environmental clearances to the state.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 08, 2015, 22:49 PM IST

New Delhi: Holding that getting no-objection certificate for the use of forest land is biggest difficulty in carrying out development, the Jharkhand government on Sunday advocated the need for delegating the process of giving environmental clearances to the state.

Addressing the first meeting of the Governing Council of Niti Aayog, Chief Minister Raghubar Das said that finding non- forest land in a state, where around 30 per cent of the land is under forest area, was getting difficult.

"While drawing the attention of the Prime Minister towards the hurdles coming in the way of various schemes, I would like to say that the biggest hurdle is getting a no-objection certificate for the use of forest land.

"Finding out non-forest land to carry out compensatory afforestation in a state like Jharkhand where 30 per cent comes under forest area is becoming difficult. There is a need to delegate the process of environmental clearances to the states," Das said.

He said that earlier there was no environment clearance required for projects upto Rs 50 crore which was increased to Rs 100 crore later. "However, in 2004 the Centre abolished this limit as a result of which we are facing a lot of problems in such issues."

He thanked the Prime Minister for bringing the Land Aquisition Ordinanace as a result of which the path to provide land for various development schemes has become easy and the process has become quicker.

Das said that out of the total annual plan size of a state government, one third is provided by the Centre but that fund is attached with certain schemes and there are various conditions attached with its implentation.

"These conditions are same throughout of the country although the geographical, social and economic status is not equal. So many states do not get benifited by these schemes," he said.

He said that the state governments are also required to contribute matching grants for various central schemes which keep growing every year and as a result there is continious pressure on the state exchequer which is why the state government cannot freely implement its own schemes.

The Chief Minister hoped that the Niti Aayog will take the states' point of view as the schemes are to be implemented by them.

Das also demanded that the royalty rate of mined coal should be increased from 14 per cent to 20 per cent while the amount of coal being given based on the linkages should also be based on market rates/e-acution.

Noting that the state was to get a total of Rs 7238 crore as per the recommendation of the 13th Finance Commission but has received only Rs ?4929 crore so far, he said the release of Rs 2300 crore is still awaited and it should be given at the earliest.

Underlining that the state cooperative banks has opened 50,000 new bank accounts under the Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojna, he said that all the benefits like accident insurance and others is being provided by the state from its own recources which is why the state cooperative banks required proper cooperation from NABARD.

Terming 'Make in India' programme as a "revolutionary" concept put forth by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, Das said that his state is keen to support the Centre in this initiative as Jharkhand has 30 per cent of the country's total mineral recources.

The state is also suitable for horticulture, small industries related to forest and medicinal products while it also has skilled labourers and industrial peace which makes it appropriate for industrial development, he said.

"We have a lot of expections from Niti Aayog. The new government's concept of cooperation based federal structure has created a ray of hope amongst backward states like ours.

"We thank the Prime Minister for this initiative and hope that our meaningful efforts will help Niti Aayog bring surge of development in the country where not only states but its people will also be contributors," he said.