NIB realignment likely

Determined to do away with the complex procedure of project clearances hurting infrastructure growth, the government looks set to form the National Investment Board (NIB), albeit in a different shape to avoid inter-ministerial wrangles.

The NIB may get the cabinet committee status on the lines of prevailing cabinet committees and will continue to be headed by the prime minister as proposed earlier. The NIB, mooted by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, is expected to clear projects above Rs 1,000 crore within a fixed time frame to avoid the delays at various ministerial levels.

“A cabinet committee status may be considered for the National Investment Board,” senior government sources said on Thursday. They said the proposal may come up in the cabinet meeting next week. The NIB was expected to come up in Thursday’s cabinet meeting itself, but could not be taken up due to objections raised by ministries of environment and others.

 Projects worth 1.5 lakh crore in the road, power, coal and mining sectors have been  held up due to regulatory delays and the government feels that a single-window clearance for large projects at the NIB level may fasten their clearances.

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