New Delhi, Dec 6 : The union cabinet Thursday deferred the decision to set up a National Investment Board (NIB) that would monitor and advise ministries on expediting projects entailing investments of more than Rs.1,000 crore.

The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting here.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had last week said that the cabinet will take up the issue of setting up of the NIB, which is being deemed as crucial for fast tracking infrastructure projects stuck for various clearances.

He noted that there were over 100 projects, each involving investment of Rs.1,000 crore or more, that had been delayed for various reasons.

"Our problem is not conceptualising projects. Our problem lies in getting numerous clearances and getting the projects off the ground within a reasonable time," the finance minister said.

"The NIB will monitor projects, advise ministries and help ministries concerned take a decision," he added.

Similar arrangements were in place in countries like Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

The proposed NIB was to be an equivalent to Cabinet Committee on Investments but not in any way a substitute to the existing Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

However, in October, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan had said that her ministry had some reservations on the NIB.

Chidambaram had said that on Nov 30 that views of various ministries, including the ministry of environment and forests, had been mentioned in the draft cabinet note.

"The environment ministry has raised some concerns which have been added to the cabinet note. The cabinet's decision will be final," he said.

The green ministry has been held responsible by the industry and many other ministries like coal and highways for delaying projects and hampering the country's growth.


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