Days after the controversial exit of Jayanthi Natarajan, Union Minister Veerappa Moily, who assumed the additional charge of the environment portfolio, today said no files will be kept pending in the Ministry.
His comments came amid reports that Natarajan had to exit from the Ministry because of complaints from the industry that she was holding up environmental clearances to big ticket projects.
The Petroleum Minister, however, said that the “image” of the green regulator would never be compromised in the process of project clearances.
“I am the one who is accustomed to dispose of the files by the evening. Not even a single file will be taken home and not even a single file will be pending unless it requires yet another (look),” said Moily, who met Natarajan at her residence here just before assuming the charge.The senior Cabinet Minister also dismissed suggestions that there will be conflict of interest as he handles the portfolio of petroleum which need lot of green clearances from the Environment Ministry.
“Everything has its space. Petroleum has its space…. every ministry has a space….Ultimately, we have to go by the rules of the game which have been laid out by any ministry. We should not cross it. There should not be any fear or favour while discharging the duties,” he said.On the issue of conflict of interest, Moily narrated his experience as Minister for Law, Corporate Affairs and Petroleum when he effectively dealt with such issues.
“I was Law Minister. I brought about a number of reforms in the Law Ministry. It did not come into conflict with anybody. Then I took over the Corporate Affairs Ministry…. (and for) 10 to 15 years….the new company bill was pending.
“I could dispose it of. Don’t pass over to somebody for tomorrow. Whatever you want to do, do it today,” he quipped.
“Any administration will have to be in system, the rules of the games and I don’t think I should stamp my personal opinion in anyone of these,” he said.
On the opposition charge that the green image of the Ministry may be compromised after the
change of guard, he said, “There will be no compromise…. We will have to maintain (it)….I don’t want to compromise the basic environmental principles….the benchmark of this Ministry.”