A total of Rs 2,250 crore has been allocated to the Environment Ministry in this year's budget, an increase of around Rs 600 crore even as the government decided to increase the clean energy tax to Rs 400 per tonne.
The Environment Ministry has got Rs 2,250.34 crore in the 2016-17 Union budget unveiled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today in Parliament, of which Rs 2,000 cr is under plan head and Rs 250.34 cr under non plan.
Last year, the Ministry had got Rs 1668.60 crore of which Rs 1,446.60 crore was under plan and Rs 222 crore under non plan heads. The 2016-17 budgetary allocation marks an increase of Rs 581.74 crore over the current fiscal.
At the same time, Jaitley announced that the clean energy cess which is levied on coal, lignite and peat will now be called "Clean Environment Cess" and has been doubled from the present Rs 200 per tonne to Rs 400 per tonne.
"I propose to rename the 'Clean Energy Cess' levied on coal, lignite and peat as 'Clean Environment Cess' and simultaneously increase its rate from Rs 200 per tonne to Rs 400 per tonne," Jaitley said.
According to the budget, the total plan allocation for Externally Aided Project (EAP) is Rs 290.99 crore, which includes Rs 15 crore for capacity building of forestry personnel, Rs 15 crore for hazardous substances management, Rs 223.98 crore for National Costal Management Projects (NCMP), and Rs 0.01 crore for Green India Mission: National Afforestation Programme.
Under the plan head, it also includes Rs 12 crore for Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Livelihood Improvement (BCRLIP) and Rs 25 crore for National River Conservation of Plan (NRCP) on Mula Mutha River in Pune.
Out of Rs 1,000 crore of National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF), allocation of Rs 30 crore has been made for climate change action plan, Rs 100 crore for National Adaption Fund for Climate Change, Rs 50 crore for National Mission on Himalayan Studies, Rs 185 crore for Green India Mission: National Afforestation Programme, Rs 50 crore Intensification of Forest Management, Rs 295 crore for Project Tiger and Rs 25 crore for Project Elephant.
Terming pollution and traffic situation in Indian cities as a "matter of concern", Jaitley also proposed to levy an infrastructure cess of 1 per cent on small petrol, LPG, CNG cars, 2.5 per cent on diesel cars of certain capacity and 4 per cent on other higher engine capacity vehicles and SUVs.