Union Budget allocated Rs 3100 crore for the environment ministry out of which Rs 460 crore were allotted to control pollution (Photo Credit: Pixabay)
The Centre on Saturday increased the budgetary allocation for the environment ministry from last fiscal by nearly five per cent for 2020-21 with no change in the amount allotted to pollution abatement and climate change action plan. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, allocated Rs 3100 crore for the ministry out of which Rs 460 crore were allotted to control pollution, which is the same as the money it received in the last budget.
Control of Pollution has been conceptualized to provide financial assistance to Pollution control Boards/Committees and funding to National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Similarly, budget for pollution abatement, which was cut by 50 per cent last year from 2018-19, remained unchanged at Rs 10 crore.
The minister also announced that states, which are formulating and implementing plans for ensuring cleaner air in cities above one million population should be encouraged.
"Parameters for the incentives to be notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change and the allocation for this purpose is Rs 4,400 crore for 2020-21," Sitharaman said.
However, a top official from the environment ministry said this amount has not reflected in the budget yet.
For Climate Change Action Plan, an amount of Rs 40 crore has been allocated, which is the same as last fiscal.
The budgetary allocation for National Mission for Green India has been raised from Rs 240 crore in the last financial year to Rs 311 crore this time with national afforestation programme alone being allotted Rs 246 crore, higher than last year's amount of Rs 179 crore.
In wildlife arena, the government-initiated projects -- Project Tiger and Project Elephant -- saw some changes with the former getting reduced by Rs 50 crore and the other being raised by Rs 5 crore.
The fiscal's allocation of Rs 350 crore for Project Tiger, an initiative for conserving the wildcat, reduced to Rs 300 crore and Rs 30 crore for Project Elephant, which was launched to conserve jumbos across the country, is now Rs 35 crore.
The budget for National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body under the ministry responsible for tiger census and conservation of wild cats, saw a minor raise of Rs 50 lakh from Rs 10 crore last year to 10.5 crore for 2020-21.
The budget for National Coastal Mission was also raised slightly with the government allotting it Rs 103 crore this year, compared to Rs 95 crore in the last fiscal.
Under the National Coastal Mission, the environment ministry is responsible to ensure livelihood security of coastal communities including fisher folks, to conserve, protect the coastal stretches and to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles.