Centre Removes CER Costs for Corporates with 100cr Projects
In yet another move that would enable a free run for corporates, the Centre has decided not to levy Corporate Environment Responsibility (CER) costs, which it had introduced in 2018 for projects whose capital was more than Rs 100 crore.
The Union Environment Ministry issued a memorandum on September 30, a copy of which is available with The New Indian Express, according to which paying a certain percentage of project cost or expansion cost as CER while granting prior environment clearance has been removed.
Instead, the ministry has directed that all the activities proposed by the project proponent or prescribed by the Expert Appraisal Committee or State Level Expert Appraisal Committee, as the case may be, shall be part of the Environment Management Plan.
Sharath Kumar Palleria, director of Impact Assessment, Union Environment Ministry, said the ministry had received several representations regarding the levy of CER.
“The matter has been examined in the ministry and it is decided that henceforth the Expert Appraisal Committee or State Level Expert Appraisal Committee shall deliberate on the commitments made by the project proponent to address the concerns raised during the public consultation and prescribe specific conditions while recommending the proposal, for grant of prior environment clearance instead of allocation of funds under CER,” he said.
As per the guidelines issued by the ministry in May 2018, CER was imposed as an additional cost to deal with pollution control, environmental protection and conservation etc. A greenfield project with investment of Rs 100 crore will have to pay up 2% as CER and 1% for brownfield project. The CER varies depending on capital. For a Rs 10,000 crore project, the CER would be between 0.125% to 0.25%.
The activities proposed under CER are worked out based on the issues raised during the public hearing, social need assessment etc in the affected areas around the project. All these activities were treated as part of the project and monitored. The monitoring report shall be submitted to the regional office as a part of the half-yearly compliance report and to the district collector.