"India is moving forward firmly for the 'panchamrit' and net-zero carbon emission by 2070 to usher in green industrial and economic transition", said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget in Parliament on Wednesday.
Sitharaman also announced India's target to reach an annual production of 5 MMT by 2030. While mentioning the recently announced National Green Hydrogen Mission, she explained that it will facilitate the transition of the economy to a low carbon intensity and reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports. "It will also make country assume technology and market leadership in this sunrise sector", she added.
The Finance Minister also proposed an allocation of Rs 35,000 crore for priority capital investments towards energy transition and net zero objectives, and energy security by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
Highlighting the vision for 'LiFE', or Lifestyle for Environment, aimed at spurring a movement for an environmentally conscious lifestyle, the Minister added that the budget builds on our focus on 'Green Growth', which will guide us through the Amrit Kaal. She stated that Battery Energy Storage Systems with a capacity of 4,000 MWH will be supported with Viability Gap Funding. "A detailed framework for Pumped Storage Projects will also be formulated", she said while announcing the measures for steering the economy on the sustainable development path.
The Inter-state transmission system for evacuation and grid integration of 13 GW renewable energy from Ladakh has been proposed with an investment of Rs 20,700 crore including central support of Rs 8,300 crore. The Finance Minister also proposed a Green Credit Programme, to be notified under the Environment (Protection) Act for encouraging behavioural change by incentivizing environmentally sustainable and responsive actions by companies, individuals and local bodies.
"This will help mobilize additional resources for such activities", she added.
"PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother Earth" will be launched to incentivize States and Union Territories to promote alternative fertilizers and balanced use of chemical fertilizers," she said in her speech.
Announcing the GOBARdhan scheme, the Finance Minister said that the establishment of 500 new 'waste to wealth' plants under GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme has been proposed for promoting a circular economy. These will include 200 compressed biogas (CBG) plants, including 75 plants in urban areas, and 300 community or cluster-based plants at a total investment of Rs 10,000 crore.
The Finance Minister also announced a proposal for introducing a 5 per cent CBG mandate in due course, for all organizations marketing natural and bio gas,. "For collection of bio-mass and distribution of bio-manure, appropriate fiscal support will be provided", she added.
"Over the next 3 years, we will facilitate 1 crore farmers to adopt natural farming.", she said while announcing the proposal to set-up 10,000 Bio-Input Resource Centres, thereby creating a national level distribution micro-fertilizer and pesticide manufacturing network.
Building on India's success in afforestation, she announced that a 'Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes (MISHTI)' will be taken up for mangrove plantation along the coastline and on salt pan land, wherever feasible, through convergence between MGNREGS, CAMPA Fund and other sources.
Highlighting the importance of local communities in conserving the wetland ecosystem, the Finance Minister announced the Amrit Dharohar scheme which will promote their unique conservation values. This scheme will be implemented over the next three years to encourage optimal use of wetlands, and enhance bio-diversity, carbon stock, eco-tourism opportunities and income generation for local communities.