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The ecological balance-sheet
Posted:Feb 14, 2017
 
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Union Budget
 
Greater focus is required to reverse both inadequate budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Environment and its under-utilisation
 
The Union Budget presented this month has made a broad-brushed allocation of ?2,675.42 crore to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), an apparent increase by 18.88% from last year. Worryingly, the devil is in the finer details that mirror casual indifference shown to specific issues of wildlife conservation, pollution abatement and related areas demanding immediate policy interventions by the state.
 
Prima facie the budgetary approach to environmental protection appears to be as fragmented and flawed as the legal approach. Even as the issues of forest management, resource conservation, pollution control and wildlife protection are manifest to be increasingly interconnected, they are treated in isolation with attention paid only at the macro-level. Often proactive measures for environment are disproportionately counter-balanced by lax regulation in other sectors such as energy and large industries. Illustratively, dedicating funds, however large or small, for the Environment Ministry, in the complete absence of corresponding measures to boost alternative energy sources, place curbs on polluting industries and vehicles and adopt sustainable development approaches to economic growth is a farcical exercise. In the current Budget too, while there has been an increase in allocation to the MoEFCC, funding for renewable energy forms, solar use in rural areas, etc. has been reduced. The pluses of additional funding have been offset by paltry efforts at consolidating environmental conservation.
 
Read more at: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/The-ecological-balance-sheet/article17302580.ece
 
The Hindu, February 15, 2017
 
 
 
 
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