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Call to set aside report of environment panel

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 25 - The Department-Related Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forest, headed by Dr Ashwani Kumar, has recommended non-implementation of the report of the High Level Committee (HLC) formed by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), which studied six environment-related legislations.

The 31-member Standing Committee said that the report was prepared in a hurry by the High Level Committee, headed by former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanium, which was not validly constituted.

It needs mention that earlier civil society groups and experts had raised serious concerns over the report of the High Level Committee of the MoEF&CC. The Parliamentary Standing Committee has found such concerns prima facie valid. The Standing Committee maintained, �an impression should not be created that a committee whose constitution and jurisdiction are in doubt, has been used to tinker with the established law and policy�.

The Standing Committee is of the view that the period of three months allotted to the High Level Committee for reviewing the six environmental laws was too short and that there was no convincing reason for it to prepare the report in such a hurried manner without comprehensive, meaningful and wider consultations with all stakeholders.

Some of the essential recommendations of the HLC have come under doubt and would result in an unacceptable dilution of the existing legal and policy architecture established to protect the country�s environment, the Standing Committee said.

It has recommended that if the government wants to consider specific areas of environmental policy afresh, it may consider appointing another committee by following the established procedures, placing in it acclaimed experts in the field and giving it enough time to enter into comprehensive consultations with all stakeholders so that it can make recommendations in a credible and well-considered manner.

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Call to set aside report of environment panel

GUWAHATI, July 25 - The Department-Related Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forest, headed by Dr Ashwani Kumar, has recommended non-implementation of the report of the High Level Committee (HLC) formed by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), which studied six environment-related legislations.

The 31-member Standing Committee said that the report was prepared in a hurry by the High Level Committee, headed by former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanium, which was not validly constituted.

It needs mention that earlier civil society groups and experts had raised serious concerns over the report of the High Level Committee of the MoEF&CC. The Parliamentary Standing Committee has found such concerns prima facie valid. The Standing Committee maintained, �an impression should not be created that a committee whose constitution and jurisdiction are in doubt, has been used to tinker with the established law and policy�.

The Standing Committee is of the view that the period of three months allotted to the High Level Committee for reviewing the six environmental laws was too short and that there was no convincing reason for it to prepare the report in such a hurried manner without comprehensive, meaningful and wider consultations with all stakeholders.

Some of the essential recommendations of the HLC have come under doubt and would result in an unacceptable dilution of the existing legal and policy architecture established to protect the country�s environment, the Standing Committee said.

It has recommended that if the government wants to consider specific areas of environmental policy afresh, it may consider appointing another committee by following the established procedures, placing in it acclaimed experts in the field and giving it enough time to enter into comprehensive consultations with all stakeholders so that it can make recommendations in a credible and well-considered manner.