Green bonus, special Ayush zone in Uttarakhand’s wish list for Union Budget
- Uttarakhand's Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik said green bonus was a major demand of the state for conserving about 71% of its total area.
The Uttarakhand government has demanded a green bonus as compensation for the conservation of its forests by not expanding the industrial development by chopping forests in the pre-budget virtual meeting with Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.
The demand was part of 17 suggestions that Uttarakhand’s urban development minister Madan Kaushik made at the meeting chaired by Sitharaman.
"The meeting which was held to invite suggestions for each state before the Union budget is presented, was attended by finance ministers and chief ministers of other states. We gave about 17 suggestions for Uttarakhand in the upcoming budget," Kaushik said after the meeting.
"Among those, the major demand was to give us green bonus for conserving about 71% of the state's total area which comprises glaciers, forests and rivers. Unlike other states which cleared the forests for industrial development, we didn't do that for which we suggested a green onus. As per a study on green accounting in our state, the conservation has a yearly monetary value of about ₹95,000 crore," said Kaushik.
The minister also informed that he also suggested setting up an Ayush corridor in the state.
"That Ayush corridor should include wellness centres, Yoga university, spiritual centre and herbs unit which will not only benefit the people but also add to the state's economy. Apart from this, we also suggested increasing the central fund for the development of areas of our state bordering China and Nepal," said Kaushik.
Citing Uttarakhand as a major tourist destination, he also asked Sitharaman to include the ropeway projects of the state in the Centre's infrastructure development projects.
"The move will help ease the traffic issue during peak tourist season and also provide a new public transport system," he said.
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