Fastracking develoment takes on a whole new meaning if you compare ministers' project clearance rates

news Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | June 28, 2014 | 6.38 pm IST

Is it an indication of things to come that the new government appears to be clearing all kinds of projects in a matter of a few minutes?

Well, it certainly seems so if the Environment Minister’s boast a few days ago is anything to by.

On June 24, speaking at The Indian Express’ Idea Exchange event, Prakash Javadekar said: “The Karwar Navy hub was held up for three years. We cleared it in three minutes, after having discussions.”

But this is being unfair to the previous environment minister. M Veerappa Moily, who took over from Jayanti Natarajan as union environment minister in December 2013, cleared projects worth Rs. 1.5 lakh crore by January. Moily had said that he had cleared 70-80 projects in 20 days.

That is an average of 3.5 a day. 

The ones Moily cleared include Posco's $12-billion steel plant in Odisha, the MoEF had refused the next stage forest clearance to Vedanta's OMC (Odisha Mining Corporation), and Sterlite's (Vedanta group firm) mining project in Niyamgiri Hills area in Lanjigarh, Kalahandi and Rayagada districts, accepting the Forest Advisory Committee's (FAC) recommendation for withdrawal of the clearance.

There is however, another contender in the race. The BJP’s former president and current Minister for Transport, Shipping, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Nitin Gadkari. Guess what he has managed to accomplish in a few days? 

Here’s what Mint has to say: “The minister, who is seeking to expedite the infrastructure in both highways, roads and ports across the country, said in the past few days, nearly 142 projects worth Rs.35,000 crore had been streamlined.”

So Moily’s project clearance average is 3.5 projects a day. So even if we consider a few days to be 32 (since the oath-taking ceremony), Gadkari has beat Moily by nearly one point. Gadkari’s project streamlining average is 4.4 a day.

So guess who wins this particular reality show? Except of course, we still don’t know what streamlining is.

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