Quick Edit | Paying for vacillation

Quick Edit | Paying for vacillation

It’s becoming an insidious trend: First, India’s environment ministry issues clearances that, perhaps, should not have been issued in the first place to giant industrial projects. Protests ensue even as the company behind the project starts work. Then, several months, even years down the line, a panel appointed by the ministry recommends scrapping the clearances and the ministry obliges. It’s not the best message a country seeking foreign investment can send to investors. And it’s simply not fair to the companies involved. This newspaper is all for protecting the environment and people living in environmentally sensitive areas, but given that the clearances were issued by the government in the first place, the state should, if it wants to scrap these clearances, consider something radical—like compensating firms affected by its cleared-not-cleared vacillation. That’ll be a good message.

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