Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday indicated that the proposal to set up the National Investment Board (NIB) for expediting clearance to large projects will soon come up for approval before the Cabinet.
"The Cabinet Note is with the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Minister's Office. It will be listed before the Cabinet at a time when the PM decides it should be listed. But I saw in some newspapers ... that it is likely to be listed," he told PTI in an interview.
Concerned over delays in implementation of several mega projects, Chidambaram had recently proposed setting up of NIB under the Prime Minister to clear large projects.
However, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan had raised objections to the NIB proposal.
When asked about the Environment Ministry views, Chidambaram said, "They have some reservation which I think the officers have explained at a meeting...with the PMO."
He said that "please remember NIB, or whatever name you call it", is intended to address only the projects where the investment is over Rs 1,000 crore and all other projects are not being brought under its purview.
The minister said that while the NIB would help remove delays, only in rare cases where inter-ministerial differences are there, it would take decision.
"Somebody has to resolve the conflict. It can't be that each ministry will stick to its gun and no decision will be taken. So the NIB will be the body where the government takes a decision," Chidambaram added.
He further said that like Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, NIB is a Cabinet Committee under the Prime Minster.
"And all the decisions taken by any Cabinet Committee are the decisions of the government. NIB is no different except that the name is NIB. We can call it a Cabinet Committee on Investment," he said.
Due to delay in statutory clearances, several large projects involving investments of up to Rs 1.5 lakh crore are being held up.