सीधे मुख्य सामग्री पर जाएं

Environment and Union Budget: Towards commercializing marine and coastal spaces

By IMPRI Team 

The IMPRI Center for Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainable Development (CECCSD), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, organized a panel discussion on ‘The Environment and Union Budget 2023-24’ on 4th February 2023 under the IMPRI 3rd Annual Series of Thematic Deliberations and Analysis of Union Budget 2023-24. The discussion was organized under the #WebPolicyTalk series The State of the Environment- #PlanetTalks. The session was chaired by Mr Ashish Kothari, Founder-Member at Kalpavriksh, Pune and the moderator for the session was Dr Simi Mehta, CEO & Editorial Director, IMPRI.
The discussion had an esteemed panel of eminent professors and scholars consisting of Mr Soumya Dutta, Co-Convener at the South Asian People’s Action on Climate Crisis (SAPACC); Dr Madhu Verma, Senior Economic Adviser at IORA Ecological Solutions, New Delhi; Mr Debadityo Sinha, Lead, Climate and Ecosystems at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, New Delhi; Prof Shyamala Mani, Sr. Advisor, WASH and Waste Management, CEH, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI); and Mr Himanshu Shekhar, Senior Editor (Political and Current Affairs), New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV India).
The session was inaugurated by Ms Aanchal Karnani, a researcher at IMPRI by welcoming and giving a brief introduction to the chair and panellists of the discussion. Dr Simi Mehta started the discussion by briefly mentioning the seven priority areas of the Union Budget for building a sustainable future through green growth. Mr Ashish Kothari then thanked the IMPRI team and panellists for putting together and participating in the discussion on such a pertinent topic. The discussion was carried further by Ms Aanchal Karnani and Ms Tripta Behera, a researcher at IMPRI, by giving a brief presentation.
The presentation was themed on the green growth factor of Union Budget 2023-24 covering the Government’s plan to boost Green Growth and key allocations to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Most schemes have seen a relative increase from the previous year’s budget estimates, and there are certain new schemes being implemented this year like Pradhan Mantri Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment, and Amelioration of Mother Earth, Bhartiya Prakritik Kheti Bio-Input Resource Centres, Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes (MISHTI) and Amrit Dharohar.
Mr Ashish Kothari, after thanking the team for the presentation, gave a few opening remarks on green growth. He raised a few questions for the discussion, such as what is contained in these budgetary allocations, how deep the transformations are, and what would be the ecological and social impacts of all the transmission systems. He also questioned whether the budgetary allocations for marine exports and the blue revolution mission are for conservation or for commercializing marine and coastal spaces. He concluded his speech by questioning the panellists if there was enough budget to address climate change and air pollution.

Critical Analysis of Budget from an Environmental Perspective

Moving on to the panel discussion, Mr Kothari asked the panellists to reflect on their significant budget observations. Mr Soumya Dutta, commencing the discussion, talked about the financial allocations to several ministries. He highlighted his concern about India’s International Climate Pledge, which calls on the country to achieve net zero emissions by 2070, given the current boom in the coal and oil industries. He contends that for India to achieve net zero by 2070, this sector must be reduced immediately. Additionally, he discussed his encounters with diverse groups and how the effects on individuals living in coastal and arid regions have been growing.
He also criticized the absence of information regarding the deaths of vendors from heat waves, as well as the numerous illnesses and financial losses brought on by this climate change in the budget. He mentioned at the end of his speech that the government’s priorities aren’t reflected in the budget’s increased funding due to a rise in Goods and Service Tax (GST) revenues. The discussion was taken forward by Dr Madhu Verma, who discussed the indirect, direct, and cancelling consequences that can result from two opposing activities being carried out at the same time, such as natural resource preservation and highway development, which can have a detrimental effect on the resources. She suggested that these factors be considered when distributing funds so that they don’t cancel one another out.
She also discussed the ecosystem’s decarbonization, new programs for digitizing the entire agricultural sector, and digital public infrastructure. She continued by saying that there aren’t a lot of initiatives for the wetlands, mangroves, forests, and agriculture. Dr Verma asserted that in addition to budgetary allocations, we should begin green accounting at the end of the financial year to quantify the effects of all interventions made during the year on ecosystems and the economy, which can serve as a powerful guide for the future. She summarised the importance of the duality check that is required in our nation at the conclusion of the annual year and stated that green accounting is crucial for achieving a green economy.
Mr Debadityo Sinha shared his insights about the new schemes being introduced like the Amrit Dharohar and the MISHTI scheme. Along with the budget structure, he discussed how the revised budget column provides information on how the previous project budget allocations were used. According to him, the budget for this year has undergone various changes, including the merging of Project Tiger and Project Elephant and the transfer of several duties to the Secretariat. He also shed some light on how other programs like Project Tiger and the creation of wildlife habitats used too little of the funds from the previous year. He also inquired as to how funds would be tracked following the government’s consolidation of several initiatives under the Secretariat.
He emphasized in his speech’s conclusion that the grants given by the federal government to the states are also underutilized and that we should consider both the budget from the previous year and the amount actually used because it reveals the government’s priorities in reorganizing the programs. The next speaker, Prof Shyamala Mani, began her remarks by discussing the budget’s allocation for waste management and the fact that Bio Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is being considered this year. She was quite pleased with the funds granted for the Govardhan project and the GST-paid biogas that will promote waste management. She pointed out to the panel that, in comparison to Brazil, which uses 49.7% non-fossil fuels, our country uses only 26.7%.
While India uses only about 10% to 15% of its fuel, Brazil uses close to 34% of its bioresources. She went on to say that machine hole cleaning should replace hand scavenging and manhole cleaning in smaller cities which is a social justice and sanitation concern. Prof. Mani claims that the money allotted for this purpose—Rs 10,000 crores for roughly 4000 Indian cities—is quite small because it includes the cost of buying all of these pieces of equipment. She discussed manual sex scavenger training in her final remarks, as well as the problem of air pollution. She also appeared dissatisfied since the budget talked nothing about or did nothing to address the extremely critical issue of climate change and health.
Mr Himanshu Shekhar then spoke about the 2020 budget and how the implementations had been delayed due to the lockdown that had preceded it. Additionally, he discussed the crippling effects of the lockdown on the national economy and how numerous state policies had been severely impacted, raising serious doubts about the state’s ability to even meet its own sustainable development targets. He expressed his dismay that, despite the fact that India experienced a number of natural disasters during the COVID period due to climate change, the term “climate change” was not even mentioned in this year’s budget. Mr Shekhar then discussed his on-the-ground report on electric vehicles that he did in 2020 stating that the number of electric vehicles sold in India in 2020 was 1,39,000; however, it has increased to approximately 8,00,000 for this financial year, a 507% increase in sales, reducing our reliance on crude oil imports.
The three demands made by the society of electric car makers in their pre-budget brief to FM were then further explored by Mr Himanshu. One of them, the exemption of customs duty on the import of capital goods and machinery necessary for manufacturing lithium-ion cells for batteries used in electric vehicles, was something she was able to accomplish. Being the most expensive component of an electric car, it will have a big impact on how much they cost, which will attract more individuals to this industry. In order to make it simple for people who drive electric vehicles to get charged electric batteries wherever they go, the manufacturers of electric vehicles also wanted a battery swapping policy, but building that infrastructure will take a lot of time. He then concluded by talking about various other concessions and schemes being introduced in the union budget.

The Way Forward

Following an engaging and fruitful discussion, Mr Kothari thanked the panellists for their important remarks and opened the floor for questions. Participants gave some interesting insights, reflections, and comments and raised quite relevant questions on a variety of themes such as the allocations for sustainable cities, components of a green credit program, mangrove plantations, oil palm plantations, electric vehicles etc. Moving towards the end of the panel discussion, The Chair, Mr Kothari asked the panellists to give their final remarks. Mr Himanshu highlighted that the inability of the Indian states to take decisive environmental action in 2020 and 2021 was caused by a decrease in income collection.
He wants the government to act aggressively in this situation. In her closing remarks, Prof. Shyamala Mani discussed how the woods and other greenery are balding due to encroachment and deregularization. She also discussed the links between microclimate, climate change, and non-communicable diseases. Mr Debadityo Sinha criticised the way the environment sector’s budget was presented. Since the environmental budget impacts everyone, he anticipates it will be more open and inclusive. In her discussion of the circular economy, Dr Madhu Verma referred to waste as a resource that might yield greater returns.
The union budget, according to Mr Soumya Dutta, was a failure because it did not place enough emphasis on biological diversity and climate change despite the fact that India already has more biological diversity than it needs. Since the national rural employment guarantee scheme was allegedly a congress scheme, Mr Ashish Kothari mentioned the budget cut. He expressed his gratitude to the panellists and the IMPRI team once more for the session. The IMPRI team then concluded the event by delivering a final vote of thanks to all the panellists for participating in the discussion and sharing their valuable insights.
Acknowledgement: Aanchal Karnani, a research intern at IMPRI



नफरती बातें: मुसलमानों में असुरक्षा का भाव बढ़ रहा है, वे अपने मोहल्लों में सिमट रहे हैं

- राम पुनियानी*  भारत पर पिछले 10 सालों से हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी भारतीय जनता पार्टी (भाजपा) राज कर रही है. भाजपा आरएसएस परिवार की सदस्य है और आरएसएस का लक्ष्य है हिन्दू राष्ट्र का निर्माण. आरएसएस से जुड़ी सैंकड़ों संस्थाएँ हैं. उसके लाखों, बल्कि शायद, करोड़ों स्वयंसेवक हैं. इसके अलावा कई हजार वरिष्ठ कार्यकर्ता हैं जिन्हें प्रचारक कहा जाता है. भाजपा के सत्ता में आने के बाद से आरएसएस दुगनी गति से हिन्दू राष्ट्र के निर्माण के अपने एजेण्डे को पूरा करने में जुट गया है. यदि भाजपा को चुनावों में लगातार सफलता हासिल हो रही है तो उसका कारण है देश में साम्प्रदायिकता और साम्प्रदायिक मुद्दों का बढ़ता बोलबाला. इनमें से कुछ हैं राम मंदिर, गौमांस और गोवध एवं लव जिहाद. 

हिंदी आलोचना जैसे पिछड़ चुके अनुशासन की जगह हिंदी वैचारिकी का विकास जरूरी

- प्रमोद रंजन*   भारतीय राजनीति में सांप्रदायिक व प्रतिक्रियावादी ताकतों को सत्ता तक पहुंचाने में हिंदी पट्टी का सबसे बड़ा योगदान है। इसका मुख्य कारण हिंदी-पट्टी में कार्यरत समाजवादी व जनपक्षधर हिरावल दस्ते का विचारहीन, अनैतिक और  प्रतिक्रियावादी होते जाना है। अगर हम उपरोक्त बातों को स्वीकार करते हैं, तो कुछ रोचक निष्कर्ष निकलते हैं। हिंदी-जनता और उसके हिरावल दस्ते को विचारहीन और प्रतिक्रियावादी बनने से रोकने की मुख्य ज़िम्मेदारी किसकी थी?

देशव्यापी ग्रामीण भारत बंध में उतरे मध्य प्रदेश के आदिवासी, किया केंद्र सरकार का विरोध

- हरसिंग जमरे, भिखला सोलंकी, रतन अलावे*  15 और 16 फरवरी को निमाड के बड़वानी, खरगोन और बुरहानपुर में जागृत आदिवासी दलित संगठन के नेतृत्व में आदिवासी महिला-पुरुषों ग्रामीण भारत बंद में रैली एवं विरोध प्रदर्शन किया । प्रधान मंत्री द्वारा 2014 में फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने का वादा किया गया था, 2016 में किसानों की आय दुगना करने का वादा किया गया था । आज, फसलों का दाम नहीं बढ़ रहा है, लेकिन खेती में खर्च बढ़ता जा रहा है! खाद, बीज और दवाइयों का दाम, तीन-चार गुना बढ़ चुका है! किसानों को लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव देने के बजाए, खेती को कंपनियों के हवाले करने के लिए 3 काले कृषि कानून लाए गए । 3 काले कानून वापस लेते समय प्रधान मंत्री ने फिर वादा किया था कि फसलों की लागत का डेढ़ गुना भाव की कानूनी गारंटी के लिए कानून बनाएँगे, लेकिन वो भी झूठ निकला! आज जब देश के किसान दिल्ली में आपको अपना वादा याद दिलाने आए है, तब आप उनका रास्ता रोक रहें है, उनके साथ मारपीट कर उन पर आँसू गैस फेंक रहें हैं, उन पर छर्रों से फायरिंग कर रहें है! देश को खिलाने वाला किसान खुद भूखा रहे, क्या यही विकास है?

18થી નાની ઉંમરના 1,15,129 બાળકો શાળા બહાર? વાસ્તવિક આંકડો 15-20 ગણો વધું

- સુખદેવ પટેલ*  16 એપ્રિલથી સમગ્ર ગુજરાતમાં શાળા બહારના 6 થી 19 વર્ષની ઉંમરના બાળકોનો સર્વે શરૂ થયો છે.  જે 26 એપ્રિલ સુધી ચાલશે. જેની જવાબદારી સરકારી શાળાના શિક્ષકોને સોંપવામાં આવી છે. અત્યારે પ્રાથમિક શાળાઓમાં વાર્ષિક પરીક્ષાઓ ચાલી રહી છે. લોકસભાની ચૂંટણીઓના કામ પણ શિક્ષકોને ભાગે કરવાના આવશે. શિક્ષકો કેટલું કરી શક્શે? શિક્ષકો પાસેથી વ્યાજબી રીતે કેટલી અપેક્ષાઓ રાખવી જોઈએ? RTE ની જોગવાઈઓ મુજબ દરેક બાળક શિક્ષણ મેળવી શકે, તે માટે શાળા બહારના બાળકોને સર્વે કરીને શોધી કાઢવાનું ઉમદા કામ સરકાર વિચારે છે, તે આવકારદાયક છે. આવાં ઉત્તમ કામમાં જેમને સીધો લાભ થવાનો છે,  તેવાં હિતધારકોની પ્રતિનિધિ સમિતિ SMC સ્કૂલ મેનેજમેન્ટ કમિટી આ જવાબદારી સારી રીતે ઉપાડી શકે તેમ છે. શિક્ષણ વિભાગ SSA તરફથી આ કામગીરીમાં SMC ની ભાગીદારીનું આયોજન કરીને યોગ્ય માર્ગદર્શિકા તૈયાર કરવી જોઈએ.

How the slogan Jai Bhim gained momentum as movement of popularity and revolution

By Dr Kapilendra Das*  India is an incomprehensible plural country loaded with diversities of religions, castes, cultures, languages, dialects, tribes, societies, costumes, etc. The Indians have good manners/etiquette (decent social conduct, gesture, courtesy, politeness) that build healthy relationships and take them ahead to life. In many parts of India, in many situations, and on formal occasions, it is common for people of India to express and exchange respect, greetings, and salutation for which we people usually use words and phrases like- Namaskar, Namaste, Pranam, Ram Ram, Jai Ram ji, Jai Sriram, Good morning, shubha sakal, Radhe Radhe, Jai Bajarangabali, Jai Gopal, Jai Jai, Supravat, Good night, Shuvaratri, Jai Bhole, Salaam walekam, Walekam salaam, Radhaswami, Namo Buddhaya, Jai Bhim, Hello, and so on.

Laxmanpur Bathe massacre: Perfect example of proto-fascist Brahmanical social order

By Harsh Thakor  The massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad in Bihar on the night of 1 December in 1997 was a landmark event with distinguishing features .The genocide rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence. The scale of the carnage was unparalleled in any caste massacre. It was a perfect manifestation of how in essence the so called neo-liberal state was in essence most autocratic. 

स्वास्थ्य सेवाओं को मजबूत करने के बजाय बीमा आधारित सेवाओं को प्राथमिकता क्यों?

- राष्ट्रीय स्वास्थ्य अधिकार अभियान  वैश्विक स्तर पर “विश्व स्वास्थ्य दिवस” इस साल “हमारा स्वास्थ्य, हमारा अधिकार” की अवधारणा को केन्द्रित कर मनाया जा रहा है। इस उपलक्ष्य में राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर स्वास्थ्य अधिकार संघर्ष को मजबूत करने के लिए, संवैधानिक और नीतिगत रूप में स्वास्थ्य को मौलिक अधिकार बनाने के लिए, स्वास्थ्य के विभिन्न आयामों को लोगों के हक के लिए संगठित करने, जागरूक करने और स्वास्थ्य के मानकों पर कार्य करने हेतु तथा सरकार को जनता के प्रति जिम्मेदार बनाने हेतु जन आंदोलनों के राष्ट्रीय समन्वय ने स्वास्थ्य अधिकार अभियान के माध्यम से जनता के पक्ष को मजबूत करने के लिए राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर स्वास्थ्य अधिकार के मुद्दे पर सक्रिय रूप से कार्य करेगा।

અમદાવાદ પોલિસ કમિશનરનું જાહેરનામું: નાગરિક સ્વાતંત્ર્ય પર તરાપ મારવાની પ્રક્રિયાનો એક ભાગ

- હેમંતકુમાર શાહ  અમદાવાદના પોલિસ કમિશનરનું લોકશાહી વિરોધી વધુ એક પગલું ચૂંટણી ટાણે જોવા મળ્યું છે.   તા. ૧૬-૦૪-૨૦૨૪ના રોજ તેમણે એક જાહેરનામું બહાર પાડીને ફોજદારી કાર્યવાહી અધિનિયમ-૧૯૭૩ની કલમ-૧૪૪ આખા શહેરમાં લાગુ કરી જણાવ્યું છે કે "કોઈ પણ પ્રચારપ્રસાર રેલી દરમ્યાન કોઈ એ કાળા વાવટા ફરકાવવા નહિ કે ઉશ્કેરણીજનક બેનર કે પ્લે કાર્ડ બતાવવું નહિ અથવા કોઈ વિરોધમાં ઉશ્કેરણીજનક સૂત્રોચ્ચાર કરવો નહિ."

न नौकरियाँ, न पर्याप्त मजदूरी, न राहत: अनौपचारिक श्रमिकों के लिए मोदी की विरासत

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क्या कांग्रेस का घोषणापत्र मुस्लिम लीग की सोच को प्रतिबिंबित करता है?

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