Announcing no changes in Income Tax slab for the middle class, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her first union budget on Friday. With a lot of new policies exclusively emphasizing on the environment and sustainable development, she, in an approximately 3-hour long speech, presented the budget in the Lok Sabha.
Speaking about the Budget 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "This Budget fulfils the expectations of 21st century India with an assurance to its citizens of being in the right direction." He also called it a Green Budget.
Here are to three reasons why PM Modi called it a green budget:
1. Water, water management and clean rivers
The Modi government in Budget 2018-20 promised to pay attention to the sectors related to clean water and river. The government assured
– To start a new ‘Jal Shakti Mantralaya’ to look at the management of our water resources and water supply in an integrated and holistic manner.
– To start ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ to achieve ‘Har Ghar Jal’ which will provide piped water supply to all rural households by 2024
– To focus on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level
– Promised to work in tune and converge with other central and state government schemes to achieve its objectives
– To implement ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan’ on identified 1592 critical and over-exploited blocks which are spread across 256 districts
2. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission is considered as one of their benchmark projects and a lot has been invested since its launch. The government, according to the Budget 2019-20, has planned to give a boost to their pet project in its next phase. The government plans to leverage the success of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan for further good. According to the Budget 2019 data the government has:
– Constructed as many as 9.6 crore toilets since Oct 2, 2014. This has helped India get rid of open defecation problems
– Made more than 5.6 lakh villages Open Defecation Free (ODF) since the launch of this mission
– Planned to expand the Swachh Bharat Mission in order to undertake sustainable solid waste management in every village
3. Emphasis on Energy Conservation and Sustainable Development
The Modi government has since its first tenure has focused on the enhancement of the sustainable energy source in order to minimise and conserve energy usage and reduce pollution caused in production through conventional sources. In the new package, the government informed about the benefits of sustainable growth and shared achievable futuristic goals. Here are a few things to note
– The government in budget 2019-20 informed that approximately 35 crore LED bulbs were distributed under UJALA Yojana that led to a cost saving of Rs 18,341 crore annually.
– It pointed out that Solar stoves and battery chargers will be promoted using the approach of LED bulbs mission to minimise the conventional energy consumption
– It said that a massive program of railway station modernization will be launched with an emphasis on the utilization of sustainable resources
– The government also focused on boosting the manufacturing and retailing of Electric Vehicles and gave an additional income tax deduction of Rs. 1.5 lakh on interest paid on electric vehicle loans
– The government also encouraged the import of electric vehicles parts by exempting custom duty on them
Among others, one aspect of the Budget 2019-20 also focused on achieving green Mother Earth and Blue Skies through a pollution-free India. It was a much-required step to shape the poor environmental situation that the country is facing.