Budget Allocation For India’s Green Growth – OpEd
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made several “Green Growth”-related announcements during her presentation of the Union Budget on February 1, 2023. Eco-friendly fuel initiatives, green farming programmes, ecologically friendly transportation plans, environmentally friendly construction projects, and environmentally friendly equipment are all part of these broader efforts. The goals of these initiatives are to reduce the carbon intensity of the Indian economy, achieve goals related to clean energy, and create numerous opportunities for green employment.
Additionally, efforts are being made to develop rules that will facilitate the effective management of energy use across the economy’s many sectors.
The Minister provided the justification for including “Green Growth” as one of the seven budget targets for the year by stating that India’s goal is to achieve net zero carbon emissions by the year 2070.
The Minister of Finance, drew attention to the environmentally conscious efforts that are being undertaken in accordance with the following priority:
- Energy transition: The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas would have access to ₹35,000 crores worth of funding from the budget in order to make priority capital investments in the areas of energy transition, net zero targets, and energy security.
- Green Hydrogen: The minister stated that the National Green Hydrogen Mission, which was just recently launched, will facilitate the transition of the economy to a low carbon intensity, reduce dependence on the importation of fossil fuels, and make the country a market leader in this sunrise sector. She announced an outlay of ₹19,700 crore for the recently launched National Green Hydrogen Mission. By the year 2030, the goal is to increase annual production of environmentally green hydrogen to 500 million metric tonnes.
- Green Credit Programme: A Green Credit Program will be notified under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, according to an announcement in the budget made by the Minister, who stated that this will be done in order to stimulate behavioural change. According to her, this will assist encourage ecologically responsible and sustainable acts taken by businesses, individuals, and municipal bodies, as well as help mobilise additional resources to support these kinds of endeavours.
- Battery Storage: The Minister of Finance in the budget speech made an announcement regarding viability gap funding for battery energy storage systems that have a capacity of 4,000 megawatt hours. This was done in an effort to encourage sustainable growth. In addition to this, a comprehensive framework for pumped storage projects will be developed.
- Vehicle replacement: The greening of our economy including the replacement of old polluting vehicles was highlighted by the Minister of Finance in her budget speech. In order to forward the objectives of the Vehicle Scrapping Policy, which was outlined in the Budget 2021-22, the Minister allotted funding to scrap older vehicles owned by the central government. In addition to this, the states will receive assistance in the process of replacing outdated vehicles and state ambulances.
- Renewable energy evacuation: Re-evacuation makes it possible for previously generated power to be quickly transferred to the power grid so that it can be distributed. Ms. Sitharaman made the announcement that an interstate transmission system will be built with an investment of ₹20,700 crore, including support from the central government of ₹8,300 crore. This system will be used for the evacuation and grid integration of 13 gigawatts of renewable energy originating from Ladakh.
Thus, the current budget will play important role in greening Indian economy and replacing polluting vehicles.