Citing that pollution as a matter of concern, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated ₹4,400 crore for National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) for the year 2020-21 in Union Budget 2020. Central government will also encourage states that are formulating and implementing plans for ensuring cleaner air in cities with above one million population, added Finance Minister.
"In large cities having population above one million, polluted air is a matter of concern," said Sitharaman while detailing plans for environment and climate change during Budget 2020.
"Parameters for the incentives would be notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change. Allocation for this purpose is 4,400 crore for 2020-2021" Sitharaman mentioned in her budget speech.
Last year, the government had launched a five-year National Clean Air Action Programme to achieve a 20-30% reduction in concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 by 2024.
"The clean-air fund of ₹4,400 crores to be provided in the form of incentives to be notified by MoEFCC should consider measures to link the incentives to the electrification of vehicles and associated infrastructure such as battery-swapping and charging," said officials of Ola Mobility Institute.
FM Sitharaman also announced closure of old thermal power plants if their emission is above prescribed norms under National Clean Air Programme.
"There are yet, thermal power plants that are old and their carbon emission levels are high. For such power plants, we propose that utilities running them would be advised to close them, if their emission is above the pre-set norms." Sitharaman said. The vacated land will be used for alternative energy purposes, said Finance Minister.
PM Narendra Modi's international initiative — Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) with its Secretariat in Delhi, 2019 and International Solar Alliance, 2015 — will help strengthen global partnership to address a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said Nirmala Sitharaman.
India submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution, under the Paris Agreement in 2015 on a "best effort" basis. The implementation effectively begins on January 1, 2021, Sitharaman said.
The government had directed all the thermal power plants to install Flue Gas Desulphurization (FDG), which reduces emissions of sulphur dioxide in phases. By December 2022, all the 440 coal-fired plans that produce 166.5 GW have to comply with the regulation.