MOEF wrongly viewed as stumbling block: Jayanthi

Environment Ministry is "wrongly viewed" as a stumbling block for industrial and mining sectors, Union Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said.

New Delhi: Environment Ministry is "wrongly
viewed" as a stumbling block for industrial and mining sectors
despite the fact that it has given clearance for coal mining
and setting up of power plants way beyond the 12th Plan, Union
Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said on Wednesday.

"I believe that the Ministry of Environment is wrongly
viewed as a stumbling block. We can assure with figures and
facts that we have given clearances for both for coal mining
and in terms of other clearances way beyond the energy
targets, even one projected by the 12th Plan (2012-17)," she
told reporters here.

Though the Environment Ministry has given licences for
mining 830 million tonnes of coal, only a very less quantity
of the mineral is mined, she said.

Natarajan was interacting with media at a programme
organised here by the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
"The quantity of coal actually taken out is very less,"
she said, adding that her ministry should not be blamed for
any shortage of coal.

Natarajan`s statement assumes significance in the wake of
Coal Ministry blaming the Ministry of Environment and Forests
for not giving environment clearances hampering production of

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has constituted a GoM on
Coal in February last year to iron out issues impeding coal

Natarajan said the Environment Ministry has given
licenses for generating 2 lakh MW of electricity, though the
target in the 12th Plan is one lakh MW.
"We have given licenses for already 2 lakh MW of power.
And that is not the Environment Ministry stands in the way of
power generation and coal mining," the Minister said.