Trade and Collaboration Between India and US Companies
Amongst the other things, Mr Mukherjee has proposed a clean energy cess levy of Rs 50 a tonne on coal imported and produced domestically.
Based on the 2008-09 coal output and imports of 551 million tonnes, this could fetch the Government over Rs 2,750 crore. This will form the corpus for NCEF that aims to fund research and development of clean technologies. “NCEF will not only promote clean technology projects, but also help develop infrastructure for new cutting edge technology development in the country,” said Mr Ashutosh Pandey, CEO of Emergent Ventures India, a global climate change consulting firm.
“Clean technology could be the next IT industry for India and availability of such funding will provide right initial push,” Mr Pandey added.
Budget 2011 has also made to allocations to tackle specific environmental issues across the country. The allocation for National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) has been doubled to Rs 500 crore in 2010-11. The Mission Clean Ganga 2020 under NGRBA has already been initiated with an objective that no untreated municipal sewage or industrial influent will be discharged into the National River.
The Budget has also proposed a Rs 200 crore special golden package for Goa to preserve natural resources by restoring beaches that are prone to erosion and increase green cover through sustainable forestry.
It has also proposed a one time grant of Rs 200 crore to Tamil Nadu government to install zero liquid discharge system at Tirupur to sustain the knitwear industry.
“The impetus to promote clean energy is a good beginning, but there is no big picture on managing the environmental issues,” said Mr Chandra Bhushan, Associate Director at Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
The Finance Minister could have introduced the “polluter-pays” concept to fight pollution, which has reached alarming proportion in about 70-odd industrial areas, he added.