Proactive Steps in Budget for the Environment
To ameliorate the negative environmental consequence sand increased pollution levels associated with industrialisation and urbanisation, a number of proactive steps have been proposed in the Budget 2010-11. This was announced by the Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee in his Budget speech in Parliament today.
The major steps include:
· National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) - for funding research and innovative projects in clean energy technology. The Finance Minister said that in many areas of the country pollution level has reached alarming proportions. While it must be ensured that the principal of a “polluter pays” remains the basic guiding criteria for pollution management, there should also be a positive thrust for development of clean energy. And to build the purpose of the NCEF, the Minister has proposed to levy a clean energy cess on coal produced in India at a nominal rate of Rs.50 per tonne, which will also be applicable to imported coal.
· Affluent Treatment Plan, Tirupur - The Government has proposed a one time grant of Rs. 200 crore to the Government of Tamil Nadu towards the cost of installation of a zero liquid discharge system at Tirupur to sustain knitwear industry. This industry which provides livelihood to lakhs of persons will now be able to do so without undermining the environment.
· Special Golden Jubilee Package for Goa - The Government has proposed to provide a sum of Rs.200 crore as a special golden jubilee package to Goa to preserve the natural resources of the State by restoring Goa’s beaches which are prone to erosion, and increasing its green cover through sustainable forestry.
· National Ganga River Basin Authority - Allocation for National Ganga River Basin Authority has been doubled in 2010-11 to Rs.500 crore. The “Mission Clean Ganga 2020” under the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) with the objective that no untreated municipal sewage or industrial influent will be discharged into the National river has already been initiated.
The Minister has also announced schemes on bank protection works and development on alternate port facility in West Bengal.
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