Survey for more reforms, faster eco clearance

Survey for more reforms, faster eco clearance

New Delhi: Streamlining environment clearance for infrastructure projects, early introduction of Good and Service Tax and second Green Revolution are among the over a dozen reforms outlined by Economic Survey 2010-11 for accelerating economic growth.

Projecting a 9% GDP growth for 2011-12, the Economic Survey, tabled by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament, has suggested a Reform Agenda for the government to achieve the targets.

The survey has also expressed concern over project delays due to tussle between various ministries like coal and power, where the ministry of environment and forest has raised certain issues.

It suggested an “urgent need to streamline land acquisition and environment clearance for infrastructure projects".

The survey called for creation of a National Forest Land Bank with clear paper work and title to reduce approval time for forest clearance.

While recognising the contribution of agriculture sector in the overall development, especially to check food inflation, the Survey has asked the government to work for a ‘second Green Revolution’ with technological break-through in the sector.

The agriculture growth is expected to be 5.4% for the current financial year as against just 0.4% in the previous fiscal.

A second Green Revolution could help the farming community to devise ways to reduce dependence on monsoon, it said.

“Prioritisation of targeted development of rainfed area and effective marketing links be ensured for better returns to the farmers," it said.

One of the major tax reforms GST, which will combine the state and central taxes, could not be taken up amid differences between the Centre and States, particularly ruled by BJP.

Besides, there is need to explore avenues for increasing investment in infrastructure through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and occasionally exclusive private investment wherever possible, the Survey said.

Huge capacity addition in infrastructure should be planned and executed in a time bound manner, the Survey suggested and called for better convergence of the schemes to “avoid duplications and leakage and to ensure benefits reach to the targeted groups".