Environment and climate change get short shrift in India’s budget
As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rose in Parliament to present the last full budget of the present government before the run up to the general elections due in early 2019, it was clear that environment and climate change were not on his priority list.
The union budget, which allocates central government funds and provides a good flavour of policy direction, was presented in Parliament two days after the Economic Survey 2017-18, which had emphasised the impacts of climate change on the energy and agricultural sectors.
Despite the mention in the most important annual economic document of the central government, Jaitley’s speech was devoid of any significant policy announcements regarding environment and climate change. In fact, he did not even mention renewable energy in his speech, a sector where India has taken a global lead in recent years, in part due to the proactive measures adopted by the present regime.