Green bod­ies lack teeth

Down to Earth - - LETTERS - VI­NAY TAN­DON

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.


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