Parliament met for the 12th sitting of the Budget Session today.
 
Rajya Sabha further discussed the Railways Budget, which was underway at the time of sending this diary.
 
Lok Sabha undertook a discussion on the Demands for Grants of the
Ministry of Environment and Forests today. The Ministry has been
allocated a total of Rs. 2256 crore for 2014-2015, which constitutes 0.2
percent of the total Demands for Grants of all Ministries.

An Analysis of the Demands for Grants (2014-15) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests reveals the following:

  • The decrease in the amount allotted for prevention and control of
    pollution is largely due to the removal of the National River
    Conservation Plan, which had an outlay of Rs 518 crore in the Union
    Budget (2013-14).  This scheme has been shifted to the Ministry of Water
    Resources, with an outlay of Rs 537 for the current year.
  • As with other Ministries, amount allotted for certain schemes of
    the MoEF will now be transferred through state plans and not the central
    plan.  These include: (a) Intensification of Forest Management, (b)
    Project Tiger, (c) Project Elephant, (d) Integrated Development of Wild
    Life Habitats, (e) National Afforestation Programme, and (f)
    Conservation of Corals and Mangroves
  • The difference between the interim budget and final budget
    allocation is Rs 437, which is largely due to the addition of the
    National River Conservation Plan to the Ministry of Water Resources. 
  • The increase from the revised estimate of 2013-14 is of Rs 216 crore. 

 Major new initiatives announced in the Union Budget (2014-15) related to the environment are: 

  • National Adaptation Fund: The Fund, with an initial amount of Rs
    100 crore, has been created to meet the challenges of climate change. 
    This has been included in the Demand for Grants of the Ministry of
    Agriculture.
  • National Mission on Himalayan Studies: Rs 89 crore has been allocated for a new National Mission on Himalayan Studies.
  • Clean Energy Cess: The Clean Energy Cess will be increased from Rs 50 per tonne to Rs 100 per tonne.
  • Ultra Mega Solar Projects: Rs 500 crore has been allocated for
    Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat,
    Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Scheme for solar power driven agricultural pump sets: Rs 400 crore has been set aside for this scheme.

Note: These schemes will not be implemented by the Ministry of
Environment and Forests but other ministries.  However, these related to
the environment.

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