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Govt earmarks Rs 4,400 cr for clean air, massive hike from last year

ANI | Updated: Feb 01, 2020 19:47 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 1 (ANI): Underlining its increased focus on air quality improvement, the central government has earmarked a whopping Rs 4,400 crore for FY 2020-21 for cleaner air, a massive hike from the last Budgetary allocation of Rs 460 crore.
The announcement was made by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech in the Lok Sabha on Saturday.
The money would be spent on various initiatives including the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
The Finance Minister expressed concern about the lack of availability of clean air in cities having a population above one million.
She announced the Union government's intent to encourage states to formulate and implement plans to ensure cleaner air.
The parameters for incentives would be notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change soon, she said.
The central government would advise the utilities running old thermal power plants with carbon emission above the pre-set levels to shut them down.
"There are yet thermal power plants that are old and their carbon emission levels are very high. The utilities running them will be advised to close them if emissions exceed acceptable standards. The land so vacated would be put to other uses," Sitharaman said.
The Finance Minister underlined the government's efforts towards achieving the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted under the Paris Agreement, 2015 while keeping developmental imperatives of a country in mind.
She stressed that India's commitments as action will be executed in various sectors by the concerned departments and ministries through the normal budgeting process.
Under the Paris agreement, the member countries have to make binding commitments to curb carbon dioxide emissions to keep global average temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius.
India has ratified the Paris agreement and plans to reduce its carbon emission intensity and aims to fulfil 40 per cent of its power needs from non-fossil fuels by 2030. To achieve the same, the country will have to shift majorly from coal-based power generation to renewable energy sources. (ANI)