The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, last week, unveiled “Green National Accounts in India A Framework - Report of the Expert Group” at an international workshop organized by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOS&PI).
The report has been prepared by an expert group set up by MOS&PI under the renowned economist and Professor at University of Cambridge Sir Partha Dasgupta.
He said, while it is expected that the policies and initiatives taken by the Government will contribute to a green bottom-line in India’s national accounts, he said, he does not doubt the difficulties that will be encountered in capturing a diverse set of variables in a statistical framework and compiling the accounts from a truly green perspective. But, he is equally sure that the deliberations of the Workshop will succeed in delivering practical solutions to the problems of measuring the interaction between the economy and the environment. Dr. Manmohan Singh expressed the hope that the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, in consultation with the Planning Commission and the Ministries concerned, will take a leading role in implementing the recommendations of this very important Group.
The Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation Shri Srikant Kumar Jena in his speech has said that ‘Green GDP’ has been extensively used globally by economists, statisticians and policy makers for integrating natural capital in the balance sheet of the country. It is not only thought provoking but a matter of concern for all of us to analysewhether the accounting of GDP, measures the welfare of people or there is something more to it. He said that besides deciding on a framework on Green national accounting, the key challenge would be to monitor and measure adjusted economic growth and efficiently use the data for effective policy initiatives for welfare of the society.
Jena also appreciated the role of Shri Jairam Ramesh, the then Minister of Environment and Forests andShri Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission in setting up the Expert Group.
The report consists of six chapters and dives extensively into the conceptual foundations of economic evaluation providing an outline of what would ideally be needed for a comprehensive set of national accounts. The Report deals extensively with not only the conceptual building up of the system of Green National Accounts , but also deals with the implementability aspects based on the conceptual framework of Green Accounting Framework using the existing data sets and studies to discuss the framework methodology, valuation techniques, and feasibility of compilation of varioussectoral accounting tables.