New Delhi: While sticking to the Indian government’s position on carbon emissions and climate change, P. Chidambaram, minister of finance, announced the establishment of a permanent institutional mechanism that will play a “development and coordination role” in India’s efforts in combating climate change.
“The finance minister’s decision to set up the institutional structure is very positive. It might not mean new institutions, but rather more coordination,” said Ajay Mathur, director general, Bureau of Energy Efficiency.
Among other green measures, in an effort to rehaul public transport, the minister also announced a decrease in excise duty on buses and their chassis from 16% to 12%. Excise on smaller cars and two-wheelers has also been slashed to 12%, and that for hybrid cars to 14%. “As far as taxing buses is concerned, this problem has persisted for a long time and this is a very welcome move. We hope that in future we move towards measures that reward fuel efficiency,” added Mathur.
The excise duty on buses and their chassis has been decreased from 16% to 12% in an effort to rehaul public transport. (Jasjeet Plaha / HT )
The government also cleared a long-standing proposal that will encourage children and doctorate-level researchers to stick to research in basic science.
The ministry of science and technology will introduce a scheme, called Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE), which will include a range of scholarships for school and college students, and an assured income for researchers as long as they stick to the sciences after they acquire a terminal degree.
Originally floated in 2006, INSPIRE, is planned as a Rs1,347 crore programme to be spread out over the next five years, science minister Kapil Sibal had said before.
The government also set aside Rs300 crore towards a desalination plant near Chennai. “Companies are certainly interested in the initiative,” said S. Kathiroli, director, National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai.