Modi government has on Thursday passed a resolution to dissolve the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change. Environment minister Prakash Javadekar has been asked to submit his resignation, which would add to the streak of resignations of Governors and dissolution of various high-powered central committees. This would be the first such resignation from a BJP minister though. Modi is likely to recommend Javadekar for the post of Governor of one of the bequeathed seats, to pacify the aggrieved minister.
The move came in the wake of an IB report that indicated Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change as “a threat to national economic security” owing to its track record of “hurting economic progress by stalling power, mining and other projects”.
It may be recalled that earlier this month IB had accused an international NGO, Greenpeace, of similar charges. The NGO is accused of receiving foreign funds with the objective of stalling Indian growth. The government has put restrictions to the foreign funds received by the NGO.
Modi was flanked by many of his cabinet colleagues while making the announcement during the press meet in the capital on Thursday. In response to a query that “who would then check the harmful effects of industries on environment”, Minister of Corporate Affairs Mr. Arun Jaitley pointed out that any ill-effect of their operations can be offset by the mandatory 2%-CSR spend by the respective companies.
Mr. Jaitley was referring to the new Corporate Social Responsibility rules in the Companies Act 2013 that make it mandatory for companies of certain size to spend 2% of their profits on environment and social causes (CSR Rules 2014: http://bit.ly/1qxYaFs). As the prime minister and his ministers were in a hurry, Jaitley promised to address rest of the queries through his personal blog.