Board to be set up for one-time nod to oil and gas projects

Realising the dampening impact on investments due to problems on account of regulatory nod, the government has decided to set up a high-level board to ensure speedy "one-time" clearances to oil and natural gas projects, 70 of which have been affected so far.

The Project Clearance Board, to be headed by the Cabinet Secretary, will be on the lines of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) which clears FDI proposals in sensitive sectors.

The decision to set up the Board was taken at a meeting held by the Prime Minister's Office to review progress on various oil and natural gas exploration projects under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP).

The Board will include representatives from the Ministries of Home, Defence, Environment & Forests, Commerce, Coal, Department of Space and other infrastructure and energy related Ministries/Departments, a PMO statement said.

"In a meeting held in PMO to review the status of clearances of Oil & Gas Blocks awarded under the NELP, it was decided that a Project Clearance Board along the lines of FIPB, would be constituted under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary for review and issue of one-time clearances, including security clearance," it said.