Environment ministry’s fund cut worries parliament panel

March 11th, 2008 - 6:43 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) A parliamentary panel Tuesday expressed serious concern over curtailing of funds to the ministry of environment, saying more investment is needed to contain environmental degradation and global warming. The committee, headed by Rajya Sabha member Maitreyan, also blamed the ministry for not projecting properly its fund requirements to the Planning Commission.

The report, which was submitted here Tuesday, suggested that the Planning Commission should be properly sensitised to the issue of fund allocation keeping in view the urgent need for environmental protection.

Overall budgetary allocation to the ministry was increased from Rs.15.20 billion in 2006-07 to Rs.15.39 billion in 2007-08, which is a hike of 1.24 percent.

“The committee reiterates its recommendation that the issue of budgetary demand needs to be taken seriously and emphatically presented and pursued with the Planning Commission as well as the Ministry of Finance,” the report said.

It said while the completion of ongoing project should be accorded priority, the new schemes initiated should not be left out because of paucity of funds and the ministry should continue with its efforts to demand more funds for the new schemes.

The report said the ministry should ensure that the polluting industries use technologies for minimising and stopping pollution levels.

They also noted that there is a need to fill vacancies of front line staff in forest department, including forest guards.

Emphasising the need to sensitise villagers about minimising the ill effects of human-animal conflict, the committee said: “Village relocation should be undertaken only where necessary for providing inviolate space for tigers and other wild animals in core areas of tiger reserves”.

It also highlighted the need for involving villagers more effectively in conservation of wildlife.

The committee was also of the view that mass awareness measures about afforestation should not only be continued, but also further intensified in rural and tribal areas of the country.

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