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Special Content


Issue no 50, 11-17 March 2023

Green Growth: Fostering Sustainable

 Economic Development

 

EN EXPLAINS

 

 

Union Budget 2023-24 has outlined the vision of 'Amrit Kaal' which shall reflect an empowered and inclusive economy. Finance Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the first budget in 'Amrit Kaal' will be guided by seven priorities that complement each other and act as the 'Saptarishi'- 1) Inclusive Development; 2) Reaching the Last Mile; 3) Infrastructure and Investment; 4) Unleashing the Potential; 5) Green Growth; 6) Youth Power; and 7) Financial Sector. Green growth, one of the seven top priorities of the Budget, is imperative for ushering green industrial and economic transition, environmentally friendly agriculture and sustainable energy in the country. The aim is to also generate a large number of green jobs.

 

What is Green Growth?

Green Growth means fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies. Green Growth involves rethinking growth strategies with regard to their impact on environmental sustainability and the environmental resources available to poor and vulnerable groups. The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change recognises green growth and poverty eradication to contribute to the vision of sustainable development. The Prime Minister, in the post-budget webinar on Green Growth, outlined three pillars for green growth and energy transmission. First, increasing the production of renewable energy; second, reducing the use of fossil fuel in the economy; and finally, rapidly moving towards a gas-based economy in the country. The Government is implementing many programmes for green fuel, green energy, green farming, green mobility, green buildings, and green equipment, and policies for efficient use of energy across various economic sectors. These green growth efforts help in reducing carbon intensity of the economy and provide for large scale green job opportunities. The Prime Minister has also given a vision for 'LiFE' - Lifestyle for Environment, to spur a movement of environmentallyconscious lifestyle. India is moving forward firmly for the 'panchamrit' and netzero carbon emission by 2070 to usher in a green industrial and economic transition. The Budget has envisaged a number of projects and initiatives spread across various sectors and ministries. Let us look at some such initiatives.

 

Green Hydrogen Mission : The National Green Hydrogen Mission aims to provide a comprehensive action plan for establishing a Green Hydrogen ecosystem and catalysing a systemic response to the opportunities and challenges of this sunrise sector. The recently launched mission, with an outlay of Rs. 19,700 crores, will facilitate transition of the economy to low carbon intensity, reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports, and make the country assume technology and market leadership in this sunrise sector. The target is to reach an annual production of 5 MMT by 2030. The targeted production capacity will bring over Rs. 8 lakh crore in total investments and will result in creation of over 6 lakh clean jobs.

 

Energy Transition: The framework for Energy Transition is governed by India's commitment under the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In this context, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEF&CC) has submitted to UNFCCC secretariat a framework document "India's Long-Term Low-Carbon Development Strategy" which has the elements of Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategies including rational utilisation of fossil fuel resources, with due regard to energy security, expanding renewables & strengthening the grid etc. This Budget provides Rs. 35,000 crore for priority capital investments towards energy transition and net zero objectives, and energy security by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

 

Energy Storage Projects: To steer the economy on the sustainable development path, Battery Energy Storage Systems with capacity of 4,000 MWH will be supported with Viability Gap Funding. A detailed framework for Pumped Storage Projects will also be formulated. Legal status for Energy Storage Systems (ESS) has been issued by the Ministry of Power (MoP) on 29th January 2022 wherein ESS has been designated as a Power System element which can be utilised as a Generator, Transmission or Distribution element.

 

Renewable Energy Evacuation: The Inter-State Transmission System (InSTS) for evacuation and grid integration of 13 GW renewable energy from Ladakh will be constructed with investment of Rs. 20,700 crore including central support of Rs. 8,300 crore. The project aims at synchronising electricity produced from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, with conventional power stations in the grid.

 

Green Credit Programme: For encouraging behavioural change, a Green Credit Programme will be notified under the Environment (Protection) Act. This will incentivise environmentally sustainable and responsive actions by companies, individuals and local bodies, and help mobilise additional resources for such activities. The programme will be designed to help mitigate climate change, build adaptive capacity and improve the overall state of the environment by increasing energy and resource use efficiency and encouraging environmental conservation among other measures.

 

PM-PRANAM: 'PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother Earth' (PM PRANAM) will be launched to incentivise States and Union Territories to promote alternative fertilizers and balanced use of chemical fertilizers. In the past few years, there has been a huge increase in the use of chemical fertilisers to increase the agriculture supply. PRANAM Scheme focuses on minimising the subsidy burden on chemical fertilisers, which was expected to rise to Rs. 2.25 lakh crore in 2022-2023, i.e, 39 per cent higher than in the year 2021 which was Rs. 1.62 lakh crore.

 

GOBARdhan scheme: GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic BioAgro Resources Dhan) supports the villages in safely managing their cattle waste, agriculture waste and organic waste in rural areas. It also helps villages convert their waste to wealth, improve environmental sanitation and curb vector borne diseases. The Central Government provides technical assistance to every district and a financial support of up to Rs. 50 lakhs per district to achieve safe disposal of cattle and organic waste. 500 new waste to wealth plants under GOBARdhan scheme will be established to promote a circular economy. These will include 200 compressed biogas (CBG) plants, including 75 plants in urban areas, and 300 community or cluster-based plants at a total investment of Rs. 10,000 crore. In due course, a 5 per cent CBG mandate will be introduced for all organisations marketing natural and biogas. For collection of biomass and distribution of bio-manure, appropriate fiscal support will be provided.

 

Bhartiya Prakritik Kheti Bio-Input Resource Centres: Over the next 3 years, the Government aims to facilitate 1 crore farmers to adopt natural farming. For this, 10,000 Bio-Input Resource Centres will be set-up, creating a national-level distributed micro-fertiliser and pesticide manufacturing network.

 

MISHTI: Building on India's success in afforestation, 'Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes', MISHTI, will be taken up for mangrove plantation along the coastline and on salt pan lands, wherever feasible, through convergence between MGNREGS, CAMPA Fund and other sources.

 

Amrit Dharohar: Wetlands are vital ecosystems which sustain biological diversity. The total number of Ramsar sites in our country has increased to 75. Local communities have always been at the forefront of conservation efforts. The government plans to promote their unique conservation values through Amrit Dharohar, a scheme that will be implemented over the next three years to encourage optimal use of wetlands, and enhance biodiversity, carbon stock, ecotourism opportunities and income generation for local communities.

 

Coastal Shipping: Coastal shipping will be promoted as the energy efficient and lower cost mode of transport, both for passengers and freight, through PPP mode with viability gap funding. A green shipping sector is the most pivotal element in evolving a sustainable blue economy. For a thriving blue economy, it is crucial that the shipping sector cuts back on emissions and opts for green fuels. The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways(MoPSW) has recently joined hands with TERI to set up the country's first National Centre of Excellence in Green Port and Shipping at the institution's field station at Gwal Pahari. This National Centre of Excellence will bring together the expertise of the Deendayal Port Authority, Paradip Port Authority, VO Chidambaranar Port Authority and Cochin Shipyard Limited and TERI, and will play a key role in developing regulatory framework and alternate technology adoption roadmap for green shipping in India.

 

Vehicle Replacement: Replacing old polluting vehicles is an important part of greening our economy. In furtherance of the vehicle scrapping policy mentioned in Budget 2021-22, the Government has allocated adequate funds to scrap old vehicles of 20 the Central Government. States will also be supported in replacing old vehicles and ambulances.

 

Green Mobility: To avoid cascading of taxes on blended compressed natural gas, the Government proposed to exempt excise duty on GSTpaid compressed biogas contained in it. To further provide impetus to green mobility, customs duty exemption is being extended to import of capital goods and machinery required for manufacture of lithium-ion cells for batteries used in electric vehicles.

 

Compiled by: Annesha Banerjee and Anuja Bhardwajan Source: PIB/Union Budget 2023- 24/sbm.gov.in