Budget lays roadmap for green growth

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By Deepa Kaushik

Bengaluru, February 7: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget outlined the vision for India@2047, with the goal of enhancing everyone’s quality of life through inclusive growth and development. To put people’s activity at the centre of the global climate action narrative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Mission LiFE at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference.

Through the green economy, the budget will result in a major increase in employment creation. Support for a variety of industries, including green hydrogen, bio-manure, off-grid solar, and storage, among others, will open up business prospects and lead to the creation of several number of green job opportunities.

The budget seems to usher in a period of “green transition”, leading the economy in the direction of sustainable development. It exhibits a commitment to promote green growth in the country by concentrating on putting various efforts to boost energy efficiency and reduce carbon intensity into action.

To prepare young people for reducing the effects of climate change, the proposed budget strongly emphasises the provision of ample green job possibilities. India is leading the globe in another industry – green hydrogen. India’s future will be given a new direction by the National Green Hydrogen Mission. By the end of this decade, the government is aiming to produce five MMTPA of green hydrogen. In this industry, there are investment opportunities of more than Rs 8 lakh crore. Intriguingly, India will replace grey hydrogen with green hydrogen, raising the proportion to 25 per cent over the next five years. Indians now have a wonderful opportunity in this area as well.

Apparently, the price of EV batteries was another significant issue. The cost of batteries for electric cars ranges from 40 per cent to 50 per cent of the total cost. However, the government has launched a PLI programme worth more than Rs 18,000 crore to produce 50 Gigawatt-hour advanced chemistry cells. Thus, the establishment of battery manufacturing facilities in the nation is a fantastic idea at this point of time.

Additionally, Rs 35,000 crore has been set aside for high-priority capital projects to advance the goals of net zero and the energy transformation. In the budget, the government has also allocated Rs 10 lakh crore for capital expenses. This will hasten the construction of roads, solar panels, and green hydrogen infrastructure.

As part of GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan), around 500 new “waste to wealth” plants will be introduced. A total of Rs 10,000 crore will be invested in these, which will provide 200 compressed biogas (CBG) facilities and 300 community or cluster-based plants. “A five per cent CBG requirement will soon be imposed and a proper financial support will be given for the distribution of bio-manure and the collecting of bio-mass,” said Sitharaman. Significantly, the PM PRANAM programme, which will be implemented to encourage states and union territories to promote alternative fertilisers and balanced usage of chemical fertilisers, was also mentioned in the Union Budget. This will result in providing every Indian an access to new investment opportunities worth thousands of crores of rupees.

Furthermore, in the past nine years, India has provided clean cooking fuel to more than 19 crore families. All thanks to the Solar CookTop’s that India’s green and clean cooking will take on a new dimension now. In the next two to three years, it is anticipated that more than 3 crore families will have access to solar cooktops. In India, there are more than 25 crore families. Now you can visualize the various benefits that come with purchasing solar cooktops.

Conclusively, our ideals are reflected in the bold initiatives taken by the Indian government in the areas of green growth and energy transformation. Whereby, every Indian’s lifestyle incorporates circular economy in some form. We have embedded the maxim of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle in our ideals.

Now we are actually reflecting on those through these initiatives. These initiatives will help strengthen LiFE, or lifestyle for Environment, which is urgently needed in today’s scenario. In line with these ideals, India has set a goal of reaching Net Zero by 2070. Through initiatives like the International Solar Alliance, India hopes to increase this goodwill in the international community as well.

(Author is an independent researcher)

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