press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
As part of its ease-of-doing business policy, the Union government has lifted restrictions and given security clearance for 1,671 projects, almost double the number (815) in 2014.
In 2013, when the United Progressive Alliance was in power, 712 projects were given clearance.
An interesting aspect is the clearance given to 55 proposals for opening liaison offices in India. At least 58 proposals for foreign direct investment were cleared through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board route and 192 projects of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
The U.S. has received the green signal for the highest number of 18 projects, followed by Hong Kong (11), France (nine), China (eight), Germany (six), the U.K (four) and Japan (three). Bangladesh has been given clearance for two projects.
The Union Home Ministry formulated a new national security clearance policy in June after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked government departments to speed up projects stuck without security clearance by the Intelligence Bureau or other agencies such as the State police.
The policy has 15 parameters on which inputs from security agencies are sought. Once it has got an application from an investor, the Ministry decides on the status of security clearance within four to six weeks, against 16 weeks earlier. The Prime Minister’s Office has been keeping a close watch on the projects. In November, Nripendra Mishra, Principal Secretary to the PMO, convened a high-level meeting to review the proposals pending with the Home Ministry.
A senior official said: “The objective of national security clearance policy is to evaluate potential threats, visible or embedded in proposals received by the Ministry and to provide a national risk assessment from the point of view of threats relating to economic security, protection of critical infrastructure, nation’s unity and territorial integrity. The aim is to ensure an objective balance between the requirements of national security and the imperatives of rapid economic growth.”
Year-wise security clearances
Break-up of projects cleared:
|Multiple System Operators||91||FM Radio||49|
|Petroleum and Natural Gas||6||Power||5|
Proposals cleared due to change in MHA policy: 543
From: The Hindu