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
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
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.