The Centre for Science and Environment has urged Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to include provisions in the Budget 2021 to incentivise clean fuels like electricity and natural gas to make them more competitive compared to coal.
The ‘second clean fuel revolution’ is possible only with taxation and pricing reforms in favour of cleaner fuels, the CSE has stated in a letter the finance minister. “Then, the displacement fuel was diesel for the transport sector. Now, the displacement fuel is coal. Its price is so low that natural gas, with its high tax burden, is unable to compete,” the letter said
“Natural gas has a high tax burden currently. It is taxed both at the point of sale and purchase, and this means that tax as a component of the final prices can be as high as 18% or more,” CSE director general Sunita Narain wrote in her letter to Sitharaman.
Even though the proactive steps taken by the Union and state governments over the past few years have led to a distinct improvement in air quality in Delhi-NCR, a lot remains to be done to meet the clean air benchmark.