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Union Budget 2022-23: Rs 3,030 cr allocated to Environment Ministry

Union Budget 2022-23: Rs 3,030 cr allocated to Environment Ministry
New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) The Centre on Tuesday increased the budgetary allocation for the Union Environment Ministry from the last fiscal by 5.6 per cent but shrunk the allocation to control pollution by Rs 10 crore.

The government, however, increased the Budget for National Mission for Green India from Rs 290 crore in the last financial year to Rs 361.69 crore this year with the national afforestation programme alone being allotted Rs 300 crore, more than last year's amount of Rs 235 crore.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, allocated Rs 3,030 crore for the ministry for financial year 2022-23, of which Rs 460 crore were allotted towards control of pollution, which is Rs 10 crore less than the last year's Budget.

The minister, in her speech, underlined India's commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, saying the Budget proposes several near-term and long-term actions accordingly.

"The risks of climate change are the strongest negative externalities that affect India and other countries. As the prime minister said at the COP26 summit in Glasgow last November, 'what is needed today is mindful and deliberate utilisation, instead of mindless and destructive consumption.'

"The low carbon development strategy as enunciated in the 'Panchamrit' that he announced is an important reflection of our government's strong commitment towards sustainable development. This strategy opens up huge employment opportunities and will take the country on a sustainable development path. This budget proposes several near-term and long-term actions accordingly," Sitharaman said.

The finance minister, however, kept the budgetary allocation under the heading of "climate change action plan" the same as the previous year at Rs 30 crore.

The Union Budget also slashed the budgetary allocation for the statutory body Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), which works for air quality management in the national capital region and adjoining areas, from 20 crore in 2021-22 to Rs 17 crore this fiscal year.

Control of Pollution has been conceptualized to provide financial assistance to Pollution control Boards/Committees and funding to National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), launched in January 2019.

In the wildlife arena, the government-initiated projects -- Project Tiger and Project Elephant -- saw an increased allocation this year with the former getting bigger by Rs 50 crore and the latter being increased by Rs 2 crore.

The fiscal's allocation for Project Tiger, an initiative for conserving the wildcat, has increased from Rs 250 crore last year to Rs 300 crore this time.

The Project earlier saw a reduction of Rs 100 crore in two financial years consecutively which are 2020-21 and 2021-22. From Rs 350 crore allotted to it in 2019-20, it was reduced to Rs 300 crore in 2020-21 and to Rs 250 crore in 2021-22.

The budget for Project Elephant, which was launched to conserve jumbos across the country, has been increased from Rs 33 crore from 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, remained unchanged at Rs 10 crore.

The allocation for Central Zoo Authority was reduced from Rs 11 crore last year to Rs 10 crore this year.

The budget for National Coastal Mission, which was nearly doubled in the last fiscal at Rs 200 crore was reduced by Rs 5 crore this year and stood at Rs 195 crore for 2022-23.

In 2020-21, the NCM was allotted Rs 103 crore and the government doubled it in 2021-22 at Rs 200 crore.

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.

The Centre also increased the budgetary allocation for National Mission for Himalayan Studies by Rs 8 crore and amount for various regional offices and statutory institutes like Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Forest Survey of India, Zoological Survey of India, National Green Tribunal etc collectively from Rs 460 crore in 2021-22 to Rs 487 crore this year.

Funds for 'environment knowledge and capacity building' were also increased from Rs 70 crore last year to Rs 78.62 crores. It is the umbrella central sector scheme which has two sub-schemes - Forestry Training and Capacity Building, and Eco Task Force.

The Budget for environmental education, awareness and training was also reduced from Rs 77.13 crore in 2021-22 to Rs 58 crore in 2022-23.

The total allocation of five autonomous bodies under the environment ministry has also been reduced in the Budget this year.

The five autonomous bodies – G B Pant Himalayan Institute of Environment and Development, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) – were allocated Rs 287.45 crore for this year compared to Rs 305.5 crore allotted to them in the last fiscal.

The budget for statutory and regulatory bodies was also cut down from Rs 160.5 crore last year to 154.5 crore this fiscal. The bodies include the Central Pollution Control Board, Animal Welfare Board, Central Zoo Authority, National Biodiversity Authority, National Tiger Conservation Authority and Commission for Air Quality Management. PTI AG TDS TDS

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