Six years since it was introduced, the cess on coal production has become a very important source of revenue for the government, which has been using it to fund a variety of clean and green activities.
On Monday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley doubled this Clean Energy Cess again, from Rs 200 per tonne of coal production to Rs 400 per tonne, and renamed it Clean Environment Cess.
This is the third time this cess has been doubled, after being introduced at the rate of Rs 50 per tonne in the 2010 budget. When it was doubled from Rs 100 per tonne to Rs 200 per tonne last year, it was estimated that it would contribute Rs 13,000 crore to the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) every year.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has been told that its entire budgetary allocation of Rs 5,000 crore this year will come from the NCEF. Half the plan outlay of Rs 2,000 crore of the Environment Ministry is also proposed to be met through this fund.
In August last year, NCEF, which gets contributions from other sources apart from the cess on coal, had almost Rs 17,000 crore in its kitty.
Rs 220 cr allocated to train bureaucrats
The government has allocated Rs 220 crore to enhance training facilities for bureaucrats. A sum of Rs 220.44 crore was earmarked to meet expenditure of Institute of Secretariat Training and Management, Delhi, and Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. Both institutes hold training programmes for IAS, IPS and IFS officers and other levels of secretarial functionaries. The allocation for the current fiscal was Rs 213.22 crore. Jaitley proposed to allocate Rs 43.89 crore for Central Information Commission and Public Enterprises Selection Board, an increase of about Rs 5 crore over the ongoing fiscal.
Women and Child Development ministry gets more
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allocated Rs 17,878 crore to women and child development ministry, a big leap from the Rs 10,382 crore (budget estimate) announced last year. The finance ministry had restored most of the budget cut last year itself in revised estimates by providing an additional Rs 7,000 crore to WCD ministry. The increase in allocation in comparison to the revised estimate of 2015-16 is Rs 500 crore.