Response to question for Jan 14-20: WILL INVESTMENT IN INDIA PICK UP ONCE ENVIRONMENTAL CLEARANCES START COMING THROUGH?
Economic development is sustainable by investment but development at the Cost of environment is not sustainable.
The above statement clearly signifies the need of balancing economic development and environment conservation equally. India has slowly picked up pace for industrial and urban development. A large number of industrial, commercial, housing and other infrastructural projects have come up in every part of the country.
By taking advantage of the alarming level of corruption in bureaucracy and lack of policy and guidelines for implementing the project, many projects have breached all laws of sustainable development. Major destruction is caused to the environment by many projects for e.g. illegal mining, encroachment of forest areas, pollution of rivers etc. Keeping notice of this situation, government has made it mandatory for all such projects to get environment clearance from environment ministry. But the lumbering pace of work in the ministry as well as noncompliance
of procedures by the proposed project has made it difficult to get early clearance.
Due to which more than 300 developmental projects are pending for clearance. This has led to common notion among the investors that investing in India is not fruitful and hence, they are not ready to invest for future projects. It has become obvious that if environment clearances are not given, investors will remain shy of investing in India.
So, Let us find the root cause which has made it so difficult to get environment clearance for projects. We can discover that Nations across the globe are following very stringent norms for conserving environment and still investors are investing. So the question for us is that despite having less stringent laws and ample opportunities for business, why are investors varying of investing in India. The answer to this million dollar question is hidden inside the project files and proposals kept in government offices waiting for approval. Even after abiding by all the norms and following each and every rule, many important projects are delayed due to widespread corruption in the approval system. Projects which were considered innovative and profitable during their birth stage become obsolete by the time they are implemented due to delay in approvals. On many occasion development project are struck between the political motives of various stakeholders.
Lobbying by competitors is a widely discussed issue in blocking big projects. Another major reason for the delays getting clearance is lack of communication between various government agencies and departments. Also, Lack of awareness and understanding sometimes plays major role in blocking modern project. Wide spread corruption has reached every corner of the country and if measures are not taken to bring this menace to death, then neither any investment nor any environment clearance certificate can save India from age of darkness.
(This entry is part of our FE MASTERMIND contest. The views expressed in this article are personal and not that of the newspaper.)