The government has cleared investments in another 25 oil blocks, which the defence ministry had opposed, approved 13 projects of power sector involving Rs 33,000 crore investments, but deferred a decision on coal price pooling. The Cabinet committee on investment (CCI) gave conditional clearance to 16 oil blocks while nine others were approved without any condition. The committee in its meeting last month had allowed exploration works in six blocks. No decision has been announced for nine other blocks, but approval in 31 blocks will pave the way for investment of $13.42 billion. Blocks that have been cleared include those awarded to Reliance Industries, Oil and Natural Gas Corp, Cairn India and Australia’s Santos. Due to clearances given at this meeting, investment already made to the extent of $2.71 billion will be put to use and further investment to the extent of $1.9 billion will be made in the exploration activities in the next three to five years.
The CCI also cleared 13 projects of power sector involving Rs 33,000 crore investments. This includes 10 transmission, two thermal and one hydro power projects. The committee had reviewed 20 projects in the sector, where various clearances are pending mostly with Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF). The Expert Advisory Committee has already recommended one project for nod from the ministry of environment and forests. For two projects power ministry has decided not to move the proposal to CCI and is following up with the coal ministry, the statement said. For remaining four projects, matter is being followed up with state governments and other ministries for clearances.