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Finance > Environmental Clearance > Guidelines


Environmental clearance of polluting or degrading development activities is done by the Central and/or the State Governments, with the following objectives:
- Optimal utilisation of finite natural resources through use of better technologies and management packages
- Incorporating suitable remedial measures at the project formulation stage

The environmental concerns of Indian government have found expression in several documents such as the National Forest Policy, the National Conservation Strategy and the Policy Statement for Abatement of Pollution brought out by the Ministry of Environment and Forests from time to time. These documents also form the basis for the formulation of specific guidelines and regulations which are to be followed by an investor for the clearance of investment proposals from the environmental angle. It is inevitable with changes in environmental problems as well as solutions, the rules see frequent changes.

Till January 1994, obtaining environmental clearance from the Central Ministry was only an administrative requirement intended for a mega project undertaken by the Government or Public Sector Undertakings. However, the new Notification (EIA Notification ) issued by the Ministry in January 1994 (as amended in May 1994) makes Environmental Impact Assessment statutory for 29 different identified activities.

All the projects listed under Schedule-I of the EIA Notification are required to obtain environmental clearance from the Central Government. It is worth pointing out here even if any of these projects fall under the delicenced category of the New Industrial Policy, they are still required to get environmental clearance from the Central Government to be able to get established and function.

Besides this, site specific projects such as mining, pit-head thermal power stations, hydro-power, major Irrigation projects, ports and harbours will also have to obtain separate site clearance from the Central Government (or the State as the case may be) as specified in the EIA Notification.

Over the above this, the Government of India (Ministry of Environment and Forests) notifies certain areas as ecologically sensitive/fragile areas from time to time and all developmental projects which are to be located in these notified areas need to obtain environmental clearance from the Central Government irrespective of whether they are listed under Schedule-I of the EIA Notification or not.

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