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Pranab's budget not so green this time

The Union Budget is less green as compared to last year with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee increasing the allocation for the Environment and Forests ministry by a marginal Rs 130 crore this time.

The budgetary allocation for Environment and Forests Ministry for 2012-13 has been fixed at Rs 2,430 crore while it was Rs 2,300 crore in 2011-12.

Last year, while earmarking Rs 200 crore from the National Clean Energy Fund for protection of forests under the Green India Mission, Mukherjee had said that conservation and regeneration of forests has great ecological, economic and social value.

The documents say an amount of Rs 906.68 crore will be utilised for generation of forests, protection of wildlife and eco-development programmes.

This include the allocation for the government's ambitious programmes like Green India Mission and national afforestation programmes.

The Green India Mission is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan for Climate Change and it has been operationalised with an objective to increase forest cover on five million hectares of lands and improved quality of forest cover on another five million hectares of lands.

While the Government's tiger conservation project got a marginal hike of Rs 6 crore from previous years' Rs 145.61 crore, no allocation has been made this year for the National Lake Conservation Plan for which Rs 50 crore was allocated in the previous budget.

Last year, Mukherjee had specially allocated Rs 200 crore for cleaning "many rivers and lakes of cultural and historical significance".

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