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Budget 2016: Coal cess to fire 80% fund hike for Project Tiger


By Amit Bhattacharya, Vishwa Mohan & Indranil Basu, TNN

Mar 02, 2016

NEW DELHI: In the biggest budgetary boost for the tiger in recent years, the Centre has hiked its allocation for Project Tiger by nearly 80% for the coming fiscal year, utilising funds collected from the cess on coal, lignite and peat.

The Union Budget has approved an allocation of Rs 300 crore for Project Tiger for 2016-17, up from Rs 168 crore the project had received in the current year. The enhanced funding will come from the `clean energy cess', which the government, in its Budget on Monday, increased from Rs 200 per tonne to Rs 400. It has also been renamed the `clean environment cess'.

The cess, to be deposited in what will now be called the national clean environment fund, will be used not only to develop renewable energy sources, but also to fund various environment protection measures, including Project Tiger, wildlife conservation, abatement of river pollution etc.

Allocations for the tiger had been slashed by 13% in the last Budget, leading to accusations by wildlife activists that the Modi government was neglecting the conservation of the striped cat.

The huge increase in funds for 2016-17, however, comes with a catch. The finance ministry has stuck to the condition, introduced last year, that the respective states contribute 40% of the non-recurring expenditure on tiger reserves.


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