Cess to fund green projects

The government insists that the novel initiative is aimed at conducting research on climate change and the fund raised will be utilised for developing of green and clean energy.

What is the green cess? The government expects power plan owners to pay just two paise on every unit of power generated.  The government claims that it has given them the infrastructure and they will have to give back something.

“The green cess will eventually help us in funding research on green and clean technology. The initiative is aimed at raising the  fund,” an official insisted.

In fact, Chief Minister Narendra Modi has initiated steps to have a separate climate change department. The money mopped up, through the cess, will help the government in creating the infrastructure for the research work, claims Finance minister Vajubhai Vala.

The government has resolved to collect green cess from most of the power producers, including those having captive power generation units.

Not that the government is imposing cess on all the power plants.  Clean energy units like tidal, solar and geothermal plants are likely to be exempted from the cess.

The state has been attracting huge investments in the power generation sector. During the successive Vibrant Gujarat global business Summits, 20 power plants in 13 different locations were firmed up. Many of them are either in place or are in various stages of completion.

Expectedly, the decision to levy green cess has triggered a political controversy. The government claims that the cess is nominal, the opposition Congress has criticised Modi government for the decision. “Eventually, the burden will be passed on to the consumers.

On the one hand the CM is favouring a select few industrial houses, and on the other, he is taking steps which will eventually burden the consumers, said leader of the Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil.

The Green Energy Fund as it will be termed will be sourced out to students on recommendation from their respective colleges and universities who are furthering their career in the energy conservation or green and clean energy.

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