Jairam & Montek endorse economic growth with sustainable environment

Posted on May 10, 2011 by

As the Planning Commission aims for an annual GDP growth of 9-9.5 per cent in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17), Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh cautioned that some trade off between rapid economic expansion and environmental concerns has to be done. Ramesh has the tough task at hand, that of balancing the issues of economic growth and environment.

The minister announced that a panel headed by noted environmetal economist, Partha Dasgupta of Cambridge University and distinguished economists Nitin Desai, Vijay Kelkar and Kirit Parikh will be soon constituted to study the impact of high growth on environment and ecology. Mr. Ramesh said “This expert group will provide a road map for ‘green’ National Accounts. By 2015, we would report Gross Domestic Product (GDP) after taking into account environmental costs,”. Mr. Ramesh also released an interim report on low-carbon strategies for inclusive growth. This report was submitted to the Planning Commission by Mr. Kirit Parikh.  The report states that India can reduce the growth of carbon emissions by up to 35 per cent by 2020 over the 2005 levels with help from international finance and technology.

It is not only the environment minister who is factoring in carbone emissions in the GDP. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said, “I fully endorse the view of Ramesh that growth should be sustainable and it is desirable that we should reduce emission intensity.”

There is no unanimity on the environment minister’s statements few days back  regarding taxing diesel vehicles and SUVs upfront to bring down carbon emission. Mr. Kirit Parikh said “If the government desires, it could consider imposing an upfront tax on personal (diesel) vehicles. We have to consider ways through which distorted pricing of petrol would stop.”


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Posted in: Sustainability