Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2023, said that the government is focused on ‘green growth efforts’ to reduce carbon intensity in the economy to reduce carbon impact and to also create employment. “The government will launch the Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Programme to improve availability of disease-free quality planting material for high-value horticultural crops at an outlay of Rs 2,200 crore,” said FM Sitharaman.
“Focus on green farming could hopefully boost accrual of carbon credits. This may result in meeting a part of the carbon offset program of companies, as well as in improving the livelihood of farmers through the sale of credits,” said Rajib Kumar Debnath, Partner, Sustainability, Nangia Andersen LLP. The finance minister has laid seven priorities of the Budget as, inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure development, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth power, and financial sector.
Further, the finance minister said that the government is working towards reaching net zero target by 2070. She also talked about the outlay of Rs 19,700 crores for National Green Hydrogen Mission which will further help faciliate transition of economy from fossil fuels to green power. “Rs 19,700 crores already announced in the Green Hydrogen policy will help reduce fossil fuels. Target of 5 MMTs of green hydrogen production by 2030. An outlay of Rs 35,000 crores have been assigned for Energy Transition for prioritising net zero commitments. 4000 MWh for BESS will help support this sector,” said Arindam Ghosh, Partner, Nangia Andersen LLP.
“These green growth efforts help in reducing the carbon intensity of the economy and provide large scale job opportunities,” said the finance minister as she added that the government is implementing programs like green fuel, green energy, etc. for efficient use of energy across economic sectors. “Green growth efforts as one of the seven priorities will focus on green power, green farming, etc. resulting in more green job opportunities as well as helping meet India’s green goals and net zero targets,” said Arindam Ghosh.
Sitharaman also announced allocation of Rs 20,700 for renewable energy plan in Ladakh. “To evacuate 13GW RE power from Ladakh an outlay of Rs 20,700 Crores is planned including a central support of Rs 8,300 crores. Few programs will be announced on pump storage soon,” said Arindam Ghosh.
Reacting on the announcements, Debasish Mishra, Partner and Energy, Resources and Industrials Industry Leader, Deloitte India, said, “India is certainly serious about climate action. Heartening to see an entire focus section in the Budget 2023 on Green growth. Specific budgets provided by the FM on Green Hydrogen, Energy Transition, Battery Storage Pumped Hydro, RE Evacuation from Ladakh and inclusion of Green Credit in Environment Protection Act, etc. will go a long way in decarbonising the Indian economy.”