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India to have green national accounting system in five years

india Updated: Sep 28, 2010 21:32 IST

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India expects to put in place in five years a system of green national accounting that would take into account the environmental costs of development and reflect the use of precious depletable natural resources in the process of generating national income.

"In the last few months, I have tried to set the ball rolling so that by 2015 at least we can have a system of green national accounting," Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said here.

He was delivering the 11th ISRO-JNCASR Satish Dhawan Memorial Lecture on "The two cultures revisited: Some reflections on the environment-development debate in India" at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.

Ramesh noted that India currently does not have "green accounting".

Economists estimate gross domestic product (GDP) as a broad measure of national income, while net domestic product (NDP) accounts for the use of physical capital.

"But as yet, we have no generally accepted system to convert gross domestic product into green domestic product that would reflect the use up of precious depletable natural resources in the process of generating national income", he said.

Economists all over the world have been at work for quite some time on developing a robust system of green national accounting but "we are not there as yet".

"Ideally, if we can report both gross domestic product and green domestic product, we will get a better picture of the trade-offs involved in the process of economic growth", the Minister added.