In his first public engagement under the new government, Shri Prakash Javedaker ‘Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’ and ‘Minister of Information and Broadcasting’ highlighted that India has walked the talk on the Paris accord more effectively than many European and American countries. He was addressing industry captains at the CII National Council meeting. Speaking on environment, he said that there are some who believe that the planet is doomed while there are other countries who say climate change is not a problem. India recognizes the threat from environment but is optimistic about tackling the challenges. Shri Javadekar, said India has taken a leadership role in international solar alliance and is already in the process of cleaning its rivers. He lamented that technology transfer from developed economies to developing ones is slow which hampers the pace of adoption of cleaner technology.
The minister called on Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to take a leadership role in partnering with the government in lobbying and shaping the views of the nation on climate issues at global platforms. Shri Prakash Javadekar said that in the upcoming CoP (Conference of Parties) on climate change in Chile, the rules of Paris Accord will be ratified and CII should rally behind the government in putting forward our demands in the conference. Mr Vikram Kirloskar, President CII, committed that ‘CII will take part in UN Conference on environment in September & showcase industry efforts in sustainability. We want to scale up efforts to reduce air pollution by tackling stubble burning in North-India to100 villages.’
Shri Prakash Javedakar said that earlier the environment ministry was being referred to as roadblock and tax ministry, but under the NDA government, time taken for clearances has reduced from 640 days to 108 days at present. There are 50-60 conditions on environment clearance but there is no clear mechanism for monitoring of the same. He emphasized that the aim is to bring down the time taken to 30-60 days and invited suggestions from the industry on the same saying his government and ministry believe in the stakeholders and there is no trust deficit. He said the government wants to make the processes transparent and efficient without any concomitant impact on the environment.
He said that India as a nation needs to focus on innovation to accelerate growth as the challenge from environment increases. ‘Our industries will not grow and exports will not rise till we innovate. Only innovation adds real value to a nation and its industry. The most important challenge is how to push exports’ Shri Javedakar commented. Citing examples from other countries, he said innovation hubs are centered in universities which have close links with industry. He said India has erred in keeping universities, research and industry completely delinked from each other in the post-independence era. Indians are involved in innovative technologies across the globe but to be a leader, we should be owners of innovation rather than just being a contributor to it. The minister said the need now is that the industry and universities work more closely to innovate.
He responded to queries from the members on various issues and invited them to send their suggestion to the ministry through CII. He summarized his address by stating his three points, of CII playing a leadership role in partnering with government at international climate conferences, easing the environment clearance norms without compromising on environment safety standards and pushing for innovation to sustain exports and growth.
14 June 2019