In May 2020, while the economy was facing a slowdown due to Covid-19, the government of India announced a special package worth Rs. 20 trillion for AtmaNirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India), which had measures for all sectors of the economy, including a focus on the mining sector. The budget announced by the government on February 1, 2021, picks up that thread from months ago with a focus on the mineral sector and infrastructure.
The budget brings some good news, in terms of attention towards the environment and clean energy sector. Announcements in the budget included measures for the water sector, renewables, deep-sea biodiversity conservation, controlling pollution, and a hydrogen energy mission.
Vibhuti Garg, an energy economist with the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), said: “While there is an allocation for augmentation of public bus transport services, it doesn’t say whether it will be electric vehicles.”
“There is a sum allocated to tackle air pollution and on the other hand, the government is extending the timeline for compliance of emission norms by power plants, which is a major cause of pollution. There needs to be a holistic approach, whereby pushing clean energy on one hand should not be weakened by pushing dirty fuels along with it,” Garg emphasised.