Sustainability champions hope for a ‘green’ Union Budget

Every year, before the Union Minister of Finance unveils the budget, there are lot of hopes and expectations that get listed. From analysts to layman, everyone has something or the other to ask from the Union Minister (Arun Jaitley). So, this year, SustainabilityO asked some of our champions of sustainability to share their take on how should the budget pan out. We asked them to list down three things, what is there hope, concern and a little message for the FM. Here’s what they said:

Shubhenjit Chaudhuri — Chief, Corporate Sustainability, Tata Steel

Hope: Big drive from the govt for promotion of research and innovation in the country and push for renewable energyShubhenjit-Chaudhuri

Concern: Environmental correctness is not sacrificed for promoting growth in the govt policies

Message: The government is acting fast and giving hope to the industry. We are optimistic of improved governance and ease of doing business. We look forward to government policies promoting inclusive growth in the upcoming budget

Namita Vikas — Senior President & Chief Sustainability Officer, YES BANK

namitavikasHope: Indication on sectors that qualify as ‘Green’(could include RE, Smart Grids, infrastructure (Smart, Resilient & Climate Proofed), Energy efficiency, technology developments). Also, I hope to hear about climate resilience/adaptation programs decentralized and driven bottom up, district/ constituency level initiatives supported by central government.

Concern: An unclear stance of government on the “Green” development of the country. Also, I hope there is no increase in subsidy for Energy Imports

Message: The government is on the right path, but sustainability and climate action needs more policy push:

  • Financial resource allocation at district/constituency level to assess the climate resilience/adaptation requirement at ground level
  • Focus on utilization of NCEF (on R&D, development of district level programs) and providing clear guidelines on how PPPs can leverage this fund for positive climate action
  • Incentivize investments in Renewable energy

Niranjan Khatri — Former GM Environment Initiatives, ITC Hotels

Hope: My hope as a country we will articulate a green circular growth policy, which will lead to decoupling of the economic growth from material intensity leading to outcomes like NO Land fills in the next 6 to 8 years. Greater thrust on usage of existing materials as opposed to use of virgin resource. A default green building movement in all states with new criteria suitable to resource constraint needs of India. Announcement of a policy to incentivize green growth ideas / projects  .Niranjan-Khatri_ITC-Hotels

Concern: Personalized transport should be discouraged greater thrust on FAST tracked public transport, pedestrian facility, mix-used development so that transport intensity is reduced substantially, ensuring that the weaker elements also stay in the mixed use development. And, while we can focus on smart cities, but let us have plan to make our existing cities smart!

Message: GoI should be complimented for announcing 100 GW solar energy programme, growth for job creation necessary however in big eco-sensitive regions. To do so, eco-valuation tools must be deployed in order to ensure that the natural capital is not compromised: our forests, rich bio diversity and our water security.

Daman Sood — COO & Head – Sustainability Practice, Continuity and Resilience

damandevsoodHope: More focus on Sustainability (over all – covering business and environment both). Creating new smart cities is a buzz word, even if I see appropriate budgeting for cleaning rivers, reducing air pollution –I will be happy. Good if a Regulator is created for Real Estate industry also – this is so closely linked with creating Smart Cities.

Concern: I wish that this does not continue to be a copy cat budget and there is something out of the box for all fields.

Message: You have a huge mandate and huge responsibility with huge challenge. Stay honest with your objective and have a focused approach.


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