Green bodies lack teeth
This is with regard to the editorial "Walk the talk on carbon tax, Mr Finance Minister" (March 1-15, 2015). I thought the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change ( MoEFCC) was pretty toothless, so where is the question of getting some of its teeth knocked out?
Despite numerous pledges, policies and now various taxes, the MoEFCC budget has never really exceeded 1 per cent of the total budget. And the states are doing no better. Environment and forests are managed almost solely on Central government allocations because most states find it hard to even pay salaries of their staff. But for the Supreme Court's farsightedness in creating the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, and some externally aided projects, there would virtually be no money in forestry. How do we know that the various green taxes the government is collecting are being ploughed back into improving the environment? The green taxes are neither collected nor spent by the environment/forest departments. There is no website where one can get information on such matters. Building toilets and cleaning the Ganga are basically sanitation issues and should not be funded through green taxes.
SORIT / CSE