Board for fast nod to energy, infra projects
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Board for fast nod to energy, infra projects

New Delhi: In a major move to boost investor confidence, the government has decided to set up a high-powered board to ensure speedy "one-time" clearances to projects in energy and infrastructure sectors and to address the problems in getting regulatory permissions.

The decision to set up the Project Clearance Board on the lines of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) was taken by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) against the backdrop of several projects -- including 70 in the oil and natural gas sector -- facing delays because of a lack of necessary clearances.

The board, to be headed by the Cabinet Secretary, will include representatives from the ministries of home, defence, environment & forests, commerce, coal, department of space and other infrastructure and energy related ministries/departments, a PMO statement said.

"In a meeting held in the PMO to review the status of clearances of oil & gas blocks awarded under the NELP, it was decided that a Project Clearance Board along the lines of the FIPB, would be constituted," it said.

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

It noted that one of the biggest hurdles to speedy implementation of projects is the delays faced by project implementing agencies and private firms in obtaining security related clearances from many agencies.

It cited the example of progress in exploration work in over 70 oil blocks awarded under the NELP which has slowed down due to lack of clearances. There are similar problems in other areas such as ports and infrastructure sectors, it said.

The PMO said the decision to set up the board was taken as there is 'a need to have an institutionalised mechanism for issuing clearances in a time-bound manner'.

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