Survey for setting up National Forest Land Bank

New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) The Economic Survey today made acase for streamlining land acquisition and environmentalclearance policy to encourage development of infrastructureprojects and called for setting up of a "National Forest LandBank" in this regard.

Amid increasing problems faced in acquiring forest landsfor commercial purposes, the Survey for 2010-11 tabled inParliament said there should be parity in the compensationpackage paid.

It said there was an "urgent need to streamline landacquisition and environment clearance for infrastructureprojects."

The survey called for bringing parity between thecompensation package admissible under the Land AcquisitionAct, 1894 and that applicable to land acquisition under theNational Highways Act, 1956.

It said a National Forest Land Bank would help inreducing approval time for forest clearance.

The reformist agenda of the Economic Survey comes closeon the heels of the address of the President Pratibha Patil.

The President had earlier this week stressed on theneeds to work on reform-friendly policies to attract increasedoverseas investment in the country, amid a decline in overseasinflows.

"We have to strive to make the domestic environment moreconducive to investment, encouraging public as well as privateinvestment and domestic as well as foreign investment,particularly foreign direct investment," Patil said in heraddress to Parliament.

The Survey also stressed on the need for encouragingincreased investments in infrastructure and private sectorparticipation.

"Need to explore avenues for increasing investment ininfrastructure.. PPPs and occasionally exclusive privateinvestment wherever possible," the Survey said.

As India plans to increase its infrastructure spending inthe 12th Plan (2012-17) to USD 1 trillion, the Surveyrecommended, "huge capacity addition in infrastructure in atime- bound manner." .

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