In CoP26 Glasgow, India announced its plans of moving towards a greener future, with the two most significant announcements being net zero carbon emissions by 2070; and an increase in the share of renewable energy to 50 per cent by 2030. The budget that followed in 2022-23 resulted in an allocation of Rs. 3,030 crores to the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change. So, when India reaffirmed its stance towards generating 500 GW of clean energy by 2030, in CoP27 Sharm el-Sheikh, it was expected to be reflected in India’s 2023-24 budget announced on February 1.
Reiterating India’s stance, in her budget speech, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “India is firmly moving towards the net-zero carbon emission target of 2070 to usher in green industrial and economic transition. This budget builds on our focus on green growth“. This stance was backed by a Rs. 35,000 crore allocation for priority capital investment towards the required transition. With ‘green growth’ being one of its seven priorities (Saptarishi), this year’s budget presented an outlay of Rs. 19,700 crores towards the National Hydrogen Mission “to reach an annual (green hydrogen) production of five MMT by 2030.”
With India having called the global community to LiFE (Lifestyle For the Environment), this year’s budget introduced PM-PRANAM (PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment, and Amelioration of Mother Earth) which aims to promote alternative fertilizers. The Union Territory of Ladakh will see an investment of Rs. 20,700 crores towards building a 13 GW green energy project to facilitate an inter-state transmission system for evacuation and grid integration from Ladakh.
India is promoting Shri Anna (millets) at an international level, as a part of which the Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad will be bolstered up as a Centre of Excellence. It would conduct research and share the resultant best millet cultivation practices across the globe. Further, in the field of agriculture, a Rs. 2200 crore outlay has been presented to kickstart the ‘Atmanirbhar Clean Plant’ programme which aims at providing disease-free and quality plants for horticulture.
Further strengthening the nation’s agendas, the ‘Green Credit Programme’ has been highlighted to promote environmentally sustainable and responsible action.
With India having lost one-third of its wetlands, the ‘Amrit Dharohar’ Scheme is definitely going to turn things around for good. It is to be implemented over the following three years which would result in the ideal and efficient use of wetlands which would enrich the local biodiversity as well provide a source of income to the locals. With regards to the promotion of a circular economy, the budget allotted Rs. 10,000 crores to build 500 new ‘waste to wealth’ plants under GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme.