PMO pulled out all stops to weaken eco, forest norms
- The PMO has been constantly approving and executing the dilution of forest and environment norms, in order to speed up the industrial projects. Sometimes, the changes were ordered on the directions of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and were given specific deadlines by respective Ministries, with all necessary documents.
- PMO had recommended that the industrial projects worth Rs.500 crore will be getting full environmental clearance. They also asked to take out all the buildings, Special Economic Zones, and real estate projects from the purview of environmental approval.
- They recommended that the expansion of up to 25% to the mining projects should be approved without local public hearing.
- For the forest norms, they asked that the project that needed about 40 hectare of forest area will be handled by regional Ministry offices. Earlier, the project with limit of 4 hectare forest need, were handled by these offices.
- Rather than having a single Forest Advisory Committee, a number of legislative panels will be established across the country as final deciding authorities.
- They also recommended against handing back the forest rights to the tribals, as per the Forest Rights Act, which was then given off to the industries.
- Forest Rights Act
- Forest Advisory Committee
- Environment (Regulation) Act
- Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)