Industry bodies today lauded the Delhi government’s budget, saying the focus on the environment will lay a strong foundation in making the national capital more habitable, while a green body said although it is ambitious, it needs proper implementation to go beyond the rhetoric.
The AAP government today presented a Rs 53,000-crore budget, laying a major thrust on “green” initiatives for pollution reduction. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said this was the government’s first “green budget” to effectively curb pollution.
Apex industry body ASSOCHAM congratulated the Delhi government for presenting a forward-looking budget for 2018-19 fiscal.
“Special focus on further sprucing up education and health infrastructure together with tackling Delhi’s air pollution crisis is laudable and lays strong foundation for making the national capital more habitable thereby providing a green, clean and safe living environment to Delhiites,” said its secretary general D S Rawat.
He said at ASSOCHAM, we are confident that these policy announcements if implemented timely and effectively will help make Delhi a world-class city.
“The Delhi government through its policy initiatives has shown it means business and is committed to improve lives of its inhabitants, added the ASSOCHAM secretary general.
CII Delhi state welcomed the “green budget” and said it was a comprehensive effort in addressing issues of citizens and industry and meeting their expectations.
The members also appreciated the AAP government for incorporating many of recommendations and suggestions submitted by CII in its pre-budget memorandum.
“For the first time anywhere in the country, a green budget was presented. This has been a very positive budget that has kept the needs of the common man in focus. It is heartening to see the government’s clear focus on areas like education, environment, infrastructure and healthcare.
“I am sure the 26-point plan to clean the environment will certainly improve the quality of life of Delhi’s citizens in the short to medium term. The announcement of the government to conduct energy and water audits is highly appreciated,” said Nikhil Sawhney, chairman-Delhi state, CII.
He said that this will help the authorities in finding leakages in their supply lines. He pointed out that the decision to put a water meter for the state is also good.
“I must congratulate the deputy chief minister for also announcing the timelines under which all these projects would be completed,” he said.
He said real-time monitoring of pollution in different areas was needed and the data collected from this should help us prepare ourselves better for curbing pollution in Delhi.
Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner, Greenpeace India, said the budget looks like a “mixed bag”.
It shows promises to strengthen the public transport system by adding 3,000 (1,000 each for CNG, electric and cluster) new buses to the fleet along with creating associated enabling infrastructure, he said.
“The push towards electric vehicles both in public transportation and their intent to shift large two-wheelers base to EV shows promise that we have started thinking about reducing our oil dependence.
“Publicly sharing the pollution levels data on screens and forecasting system along with real-time source apportionment to be completed in the coming FY year is a good move,” he said.
He said it is promising to see such emphasis on air pollution in the budget.
“But what remains is the implementation of these announcements along with some more concrete focus on changing our energy consumption and mobility behaviour which are not fuelled by polluting fuels of past, that is coal and oil and we move towards technology of future which is renewable energy at all levels,” he said.
Pujarini Sen, campaigner, Climate and Energy, Greenpeace India said that where the budget is weak is on renewable energy.
“The proposed budget is rehashing old promises like net metering and generation based incentives. In both these aspects there have been little progress in the past years.
“There is only a year left for the earmarked period for generation based incentives, yet the Government has not done enough to promote the policy or solar. A strong promotional push is required from their side urgently,” Sen said.