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provided they do not claim profit linked or investment linked deductions and do not avail of investment allowance and accelerated depreciation. This will bolster the growth of PV manufacturing companies in the country, thus promoting the growth of indigenous solar manufacturers. Water An amount of Rs. 6000 Crore has been projected for sustainable groundwater resource management. This however, needs to be supported through regulatory legislation to ensure sustainable extraction and water pricing. Andhra Pradesh (undivided), Goa, Lakshadweep, Kerala, Puducherry, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Jammu-Kashmir, Karnataka, Assam and Dadra-Nagar Haveli have enacted the legislation on the lines of the Model Bill,” (as of year 2014). However, Punjab and Haryana, which are among the major users of groundwater, have not enacted the bill yet. The stage of groundwater development for Punjab is 145% and for Haryana is 109% (as per CGWB). Along with legislative backup, a strong participatory approach of management of resource is also required which should involve all the stakeholders. Further, this allocation has been announced under the theme of agriculture, but groundwater resource management should be extended to over-exploited urban area as well. Government has continued its support to the Swachh Bharat Mission and has allocated Rs. 9000 crore to the Rural areas. It also announced an incentive for Open Defecation Free Villages in the form of priority allocation from Centre’s Fund. The emphasis so far has been on the construction of individual toilets. This may not be a comprehensive strategy, particularly, in remote areas or poorer households and in urban informal settlements. Community facilities have been successful in some cases and need to be mainstreamed wherever the potential can be developed in collaboration with local government institutions. Environment The Union budget 2016-17, addresses the key issues of Indoor Air Pollution in Rural Households by emphasizing on improved access of subsidized LPG to BPL rural families. A budget allocation of Rs 2000 crore has been made. Given the practical difficulties of putting in place the supply chain quickly, it would have been prudent to also focus on other options, including improved cook stoves using locally available biomass. Similarly, while the speech aims at 100% electrification of all electrified villages by 2018, the reality in many remote areas is that provision of connectivity is in no way a guarantee of regular and reasonable quality power supply. Hybrid solutions which enable the use of solar energy would have been a more reliable and sustainable option besides helping meet the target of solar power. On the transport sector, the Minister has suggested necessary modifications in the Motor Vehicle Act, to improve public transport through entrepreneurship. A 1 per cent infrastructure cess on all cars and an additional 2.5 per cent tax on diesel cars of all capacities were announced. There will an additional 1 per cent tax on luxury cars and 4 per cent on SUVs. The two measures combined together can substantially improve public transportation sources in urban areas of properly planned. Projects under ‘AMRUT’ must include multimodal mass transportation systems as an essential part of the urban renewal strategy. A related point is on the price differential between petrol and diesel, which has led to the ‘desolation of the economy’. As the use of diesel leads to far greater particulate pollution than the use of petrol, there is a RENEWABLE ENERGY need to discourage diesel use in the economy (not only for transportation but also for power generation). Over the years, the price differential has narrowed due to marginally higher tax increases on diesel compared to those on petrol; however, the differential is still over Rs. 15 per litre. The Union Budget 2016-17 failed to lay out a clear path towards further narrowing of this differential in order to address the pollution crisis. The fund allocated to the Swachh Bharat Mission should provide the much needed impetus to better solid waste management which is one of the major agenda items of the mission. It was announced that the usage of city waste as compost in the agricultural land will be approved under the Swachh Bharat Mission. Lack of market for compost has been a deterrent to the decomposition of bio-degradable waste in urban areas. This is a positive step to address that challenge. However, it should be noted that a mechanism to ensure the quality of compost reaching the agriculture land must be in place. More often than not, hazardous waste is not segregated from bio-degradable waste and may end up reaching the agricultural land along with the compost. Consumption of food grown on such land can have far reaching health implications. The standards for compost quality must be adhered to and the capacity for testing and certification of city compost must be developed in parallel 35 energetica INDIA · MAR | APR16


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