Survey for more reforms, faster eco clearance

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) Streamlining environmentclearance for infrastructure projects, early introduction ofGood and Service Tax and second Green Revolution are among theover a dozen reforms outlined by Economic Survey 2010-11 foraccelerating economic growth.

Projecting a nine per cent GDP growth for 2011-12,the Economic Survey, tabled by Finance Minister PranabMukherjee in Parliament, has suggested a Reform Agenda for thegovernment to achieve the targets.

The survey has also expressed concern over project delaysdue to tussle between various ministries like coal andpower, where the Ministry of Environment and Forest has raisedcertain issues.

It suggested an "urgent need to streamline landacquisition and environment clearance for infrastructureprojects".

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

While recognising the contribution of agriculture sectorin the overall development, especially to check foodinflation,the Survey has asked the government to work for a ''secondGreen Revolution'' with technological break-through in thesector.

The agriculture growth is expected to be 5.4 per centfor the current financial year as against just 0.4 per cent inthe previous fiscal.

A second Green Revolution could help the farmingcommunity to devise ways to reduce dependence on monsoon, itsaid.

"Prioritisation of targeted development of rainfed areaand effective marketing links be ensured for better returns tothe farmers," it said.

One of the major tax reforms GST, which will combinethe state and central taxes, could not be taken up amiddifferences between the Centre and States, particularly ruledby BJP.

Besides, there is need to explore avenues for increasinginvestment in infrastructure through Public PrivatePartnerships and occasionally exclusive private investmentwherever possible, the Survey said.

Huge capacity addition in infrastructure should beplanned and executed in a time bound manner, the Surveysuggested and called for better convergence of the schemes to"avoid duplications and leakage and to ensure benefits reachto the targeted groups.

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