New Delhi: Claiming that the UPA’s flagship NREGA has created “green jobs”, the Centre is seriously deliberating whether the work done under the scheme could help workers earn some extra money through carbon credits.
“NREGA has created green jobs - jobs which helped arrest rising temperature, depleting water table and deforestation in areas where the scheme was implemented,” Secretary of Rural Development Ministry Rita Sharma said.
Claiming that of the 3.5 crore households employed in NREGA works, most were involved in doing green jobs like water conservation and afforestation, Sharma said, adding, “the government is considering whether the works done by NREGA workers can earn them carbon credits or not.”
The rural development ministry has asked the Ministry of Environment and Forest to help it with consultants to arrive at the exact nature and magnitude of green jobs created by NREGA and find out whether services provided under the scheme can attract carbon revenue, she said.
Under the carbon credit systems, the industries in developed countries give the developing and non-developed nations technologies to prevent or minimise environmental pollution and there by earn carbon credits for the corresponding decrease in pollution.
The industries in the developed countries get financial benefits out of it from their governments. They do it because the same technologies can have greater impact on reducing environmental pollution in developing countries, where industries function with less sophisticated techniques, she explained.
“We are interested in exploring whether the poor, who work under NREGA here can be the beneficiaries of carbon revenue as this scheme has created 30 to 40 lakh green jobs,” she added.
Sharma said NREGA programme is now also being taught in Harvard University and London School of Economics owing to its multi-dimensional results.