India Budget Highlights 2014-2015: Environment

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A thrust on the environment was seen in India's Union Budget 2014-2015, particularly in sanitation, providing safe drinking water, cleaning of rivers, agriculture (soil health), and sustainable environment practices.

Total Sanitation is a key initiative of the Government set to cover every household with total sanitation by the year 2019 through Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan.

River clean-up: 2b rupees (€ 25m) allocated for the Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission “NAMAMI GANGE” for the cleaning of River Ganga. A Non Resident Indian (NRI) Fund for the Ganga would be created to finance special projects.

In this respect, the EBTC Water Partnership can be a method to channel best practices in the EU (from Danube to the Thames) to specific projects to address (stop) effluents flowing into the Ganges from industries and municipalities.

Provision of safe drinking water: The budget proposed to “earmark 3.6b rupees (€ 45m) under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme for providing safe drinking water in approximately 20,000 habitations affected with arsenic, fluoride, heavy/ toxic elements, pesticides/ fertilizers through community water purification plants in next 3 years.”

In agriculture, soil health has been a cause of concern (sub-optimal utilization of farming resources, and the imbalance in utilization of different types of fertilizers). The Government plans to initiate a scheme to provide every farmer a soil health card in a Mission mode, and to set up 100 Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories across the country.

In industries, promoting “sustainable mining practices to adequately meet the requirements of industry without sacrificing environmental concerns” was spoken about.


Sources: 

• Arun Jaitley’s budget speech transcript 


 

Additional information