By Dr. Arunabha Ghosh,
India's Union Budget 2021 must promote a new social contract that commits to jobs, growth, and sustainability along with a razor-sharp focus on tail risks, like pandemics and extreme climate events that can overturn years of progress in economic growth.
The focus should be on investing in climate-resilient infrastructure and low-carbon technologies, revitalising MSMEs, ensuring food and water security, driving capital to accelerate India's energy and electric mobility transitions, and exploring innovative financing models for disruptive technological innovation. Each of these opportunities also creates additional jobs.
The resources for these interventions could come from a reform of energy and electricity subsidies, targeting those who need the support while increasing the competitiveness of the industry. Similarly, decommissioning old and inefficient thermal power plants can be a huge source of savings to the public exchequer. Finally, developing a circular economy and strategic reserves for critical minerals can increase India's energy and industrial security for the industries of the future.
(Author is CEO and founder of Council on Energy Environment and Water)