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Greenpeace demands support for 'Green Budget'

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CIOL Bureau
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NEW DELHI, INDIA: At the pre-budget consultation with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today, Greenpeace urged the government to focus on financial measures that would enable sustainable growth of the country.

“The Union Budget reflects the thinking and policies of the government towards ensuring the kind of development that the country wants, hence it is absolutely necessary that our government adopts a systematic approach that guarantees sustainability in progress in the long run” said Samit Aich, executive director, Greenpeace India.

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Greenpeace, in its submission, strongly demanded a separate budgetary allocation for ecological fertilization in the Union Budget 2012-13which is not less than 25 per cent of what is kept aside as subsidies for chemical fertilizers as a first step.

This allocation should initially cover the worst affected districts in the country in terms of excessive fertilizer usage and corresponding soil degradation and should be spread out progressively across the country.

He added that this investment in ecological fertilization becomes even more relevant in the context of spiralling fossil fuel prices, the corresponding fluctuations in chemical fertilizer prices and the impact that is having on farmers’ livelihoods.

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Besides allocations for ecological fertilisation the Greenpeace submission also emphasized on the need for charting out an energy paradigm drastically different from the current carbon intensive one. The forthcoming budget needs to create support mechanisms, including:

- Allocations for decentralized energy solutions through renewable sources towards meeting objectives of energy access for all

- Creation of financial frameworks, which have dedicated streams of financing like the CAMPA funds, for the expansion of renewable energy in India, matching India’s significant RE potential.

While demanding for investing on renewables the Greenpeace submission also urged the government to introduce a levy of 1 per cent of the gross revenue with telecom service providers, as a way of recovering the losses resulting from the diversion of the indirect subsidy on diesel, the release added.

Aich said, “If the government is committed to providing energy access and sustainable livelihood to the millions across the country, the 2012 Union Budget should reflect the same. We need to create an environment that is conducive for accelerated investment in ecological fertilization and renewable energy.”

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