Featuring “green growth” as one of its seven priorities, Union Budget 2023-24 announced some encouraging initiatives towards meeting its environmental targets. While many of these would indirectly aid air pollution control – a critical component of green growth – comprehensive proactive steps to tackle the rising air pollution were given a miss.
The green announcements in Budget 2023-24 are promising for sure, but the lack of dedicated air pollution control and mitigation measures makes it an inadequate strategy for green growth. The government should focus on bringing together the key ministries to form a high-level committee, where all the entities can work in concurrence to achieve the National Clean Air Programme targets and tackle the air pollution problem in mission mode. Without such a collaborative endeavour, forging ahead on a green path seems far-fetched for India.