Budget 2023: The Budget Goes Green as the Centre Focuses on Promoting Sustainability

In order to meet India's net zero carbon emissions by 2070, India has been making strides towards reducing carbon emissions by promoting the use of electric and CNG mobility options, renewable sources of energy, etc

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Sustainability took centre stage as finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a slew of measures for the government's 'green growth' initiative while presenting the Union Budget on Wednesday. In order to meet India's net zero carbon emissions by 2070, India has been making strides towards reducing carbon emissions by promoting the use of electric and CNG mobility options, renewable sources of energy, etc.

The Green Growth initiative was one of the seven priorities on the list of Sitharaman while presenting the Budget indicating India's push for carbon neutrality by 2070 as well as India's green industrial and economic transition.

The initiatives listed under the Green Growth were as follows:

  • Green Hydrogen Mission: According to Sitharaman, the National Green Hydrogen Mission would facilitate the transition of the economy to low carbon intensity, and reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports while making the country realize technology and market leadership in the sunrise sector. The mission has received an outlay of Rs. 19,700 crore with a target of 500 million metric tonnes of annual production of green hydrogen by 2030.
  • Energy Transition: The budget also provided Rs. 35,000 crore for priority capital investments towards energy transition, net zero objectives as well as energy security by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.
  • Energy Storage Projects: In order to encourage sustainable development, Sitharaman announced battery energy storage systems with a capacity of 4,000 megawatt hour (MWH) supported with viability gap funding.
  • Renewable Energy Evacuation: Sitharaman announced an interstate transmission system for evacuation and grid integration of 13 Gigawatt renewable energy from Ladakh will be constructed with an investment of Rs. 20,700 crore including central support of Rs. 8,300 crore.
  • Green Credit Programme: A Green Credit Programme would be notified under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, incentivizing environmentally sustainable and responsive actions by companies, individuals and local bodies and helping to mobilize additional resources for such activities, according to Sitharaman.
  • Vehicle Replacement: Adding to the Vehicle Scrapping Policy mentioned in the Budget FY21-22, the finance minister allocated funds to scrap old vehicles of the central government while extending its support to state governments to replace old vehicles and old ambulances.
  • Custom Duty Slashed: The finance minister also announced a reduction on the custom duty on lithium-ion cells from 21 per cent to 13 per cent. Furthermore, the Union government also extended the subsidies on EV batteries for one more year which would directly result in EV prices all over the country.
  • GOBARdhan Scheme: The announcement of the GOBARdhan scheme would witness Biogas being pushed as the government intends to set up 200 compressed biogas plants and 300 cluster-based plants at an investment of Rs. 10,000 crore.

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