Subramaniam Committee Report : Recommendations & Implications of Rejection

Subramaniam Committee Report : Recommendations & Implications of Rejection

Question: The Subramaniam Committee constituted in August 2014 has had its recommendations rejected in July 2015. Highlight the recommendations made by this committee and the implications of the rejection.

Salient Recommendations

- Committee recommended that laws under review were ineffectively implemented and recommended a fresh project clearance mechanism associated with a single window concept with integrated process

- This would reduce processing time

- Committee also indicated that Parliament could enact law entitled Environmental Laws Management Act for constituting a National Environment Management Authority at central level and State Environment Management Authority at state level

- Both the authorities are recommended to comprise experts from different sectors which are associated with applications for clearances and permissions under environment related laws at Centre and State level thereby creating a single window

- The Committee also suggested abatement of Central and State Pollution Control Boards

- Regarding institutional reforms, Committee came up with new suggestions including establishment of the National Environment Research Institute

- It also recommended the creation of an All India Service named Indian Environment Service

- It also suggested the establishment of an Environmental Reconstruction Fund for funding research and enhancing awareness on ecological issues

- Committee also recommended identification of no go areas in forests to facilitate non disturbance of 70% of the canopy cover and protected areas

- Committee also urged the legislature for providing a definition of the term Forest in Forest Conservation Act 1980; the present definition is from the T.N. Godavarman Case in the SC.

- Committee also recommended that economic incentives must be offered for increased community participation in social and farm forestry

- This would be through promotion of statutory safeguards for tree-lands as distinct from forests and the revision of the Compensatory Afforestation guidelines

- Committee also made the recommendation for the amendment of Schedule 1 to the Wildlife Act 1972 to include endangered species impacted by illegal trade

- An expert committee should also be appointed for the same according to the Committee

Implications of Rejection

- Though the recommendations were criticised for diluting processes such as public hearing, its suggestions were in line with the current needs of the system

- For example, revising the guidelines of the compensatory afforestation statutes is a must

- A perfect opportunity for course correction has been lost

Facts and Stats

- Committee headed by T.S.R Subramaniam examined 6 major ecological laws and postulated ways to improve the regulatory framework

- The Parliamentary committee rejected all its recommendations.

- The six environmental statutes examined by the committee were as follows:

- Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;

- Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980;

- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972;

- Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;

- Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981;

- The Indian Forests Act, 1927.

- The Committee looked to realign relevant current statutes with ground realities and give suggestions for improvement or amendments to current laws.
Post your comment