New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s budget has cut the allocation for the ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC) by nearly a quarter to ₹ 1,681.60 crore in 2015-16 compared with the amount budgeted for the current fiscal year.
The environment ministry is tasked with environmental protection, tackling climate change, controlling pollution, managing forests and wildlife.
In his first full-year budget, Jaitley pared the allocation for Project Tiger—India’s most celebrated wildlife conservation programme—to ₹ 136.46 crore in the year starting 1 April, a decrease of around 15% from ₹ 161.02 crore in 2014-15.
The All India Tiger Estimation Report released in January said the tiger population had increased by 30% from 2010 to 2,226 in 2014. Experts had called for a focused approach towards maintaining and protecting the increase in the population of the big cats and urged further work on tiger corridors and technological interventions for their security.
Around ₹ 750 crore has been earmarked for the ecology and environment which includes ₹ 100 crore for a national coastal management programme, ₹ 76.10 crore for environmental monitoring and governance and around ₹ 150 crore for the National Afforestation Programme.
Last year, the government had announced creation of a National Adaptation Fund to tackle effects of climate change on agriculture and setting up of a National Centre for Himalayan Studies in Uttarakhand to work for the conservation of the Himalayas. Both of them are still works in progress.