Feb. 27, 2010
A National Clean Energy Fund. Doubling the money to clean India's holy Ganga. Budget 2010 appears to be one of the greenest ever.
"With these proposals, I hope to see a smile on the faces of the green brigade!" Finance Minister Mukherjee said in Parliament. "In terms of the number of words given to green issues, yes, it's a progressive budget," said Dr Leena Srivastava, executive director of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). "But it seems there are a host of mixed signals." Some big-picture contradictions were: retaining the primacy of coal in power generation, while announcing a slew of tax benefits for electric vehicles, which run on electricity, from the same polluting coal-fired plants.
The energy experts specifically welcomed two initiatives. First, a Rs 50-per-tonne clean-energy cess on domestic and imported coal for a National Clean Energy Fund.