India speeds up environmental approvals in industry
India is fast-tracking environmental clearances for projects like power plants and coal mines in a bid to propel growth, setting off alarm bells among environmentalists and affected residents who say the decisions are being made too quickly.
In a country where state machinery typically moves slowly, the environment ministry under Prime Minister Narendra brModi has slashed the average time taken to grant clearances to 170 days from 600 days, said two government sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
The push appears to be similar to U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to speed up infrastructure approvals – his administration has said it wants environmental reviews for major projects to take no longer than 21 months, instead of years.
India’s industrial sector grew at 4.3 percent last year but growth slowed from 4.6 percent a year ago. The speedier approvals come as some big-ticket infrastructure projects face delays, including the proposed $100 billion Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor and the Japan-backed $17 billion bullet train.