Economy

Govt to assess whether economic growth is hurting environment

Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Prof. Kirit Parikh, Chairman of the Expert Group set up by the Planning Commission on Low Carbon Strategies for inclusive growth releasing an interim report in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: V.Sudershan   | Photo Credit: V_Sudershan

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Amid a debate over economic growth verses environment, the government has decided to conduct an assessment of the impact of GDP growth on ecology using Green Accounting System and the process will be completed by 2015.

The government will soon set up of an expert group headed by environmental economist Partha Dasgupta to provide a road map for Green National Accounting (GNA) system to evaluate impact of economic growth on environment by 2015, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters here on Monday.

The expert group would be set up jointly by the Planning Commission and Environment Ministry.

The GNA would help government bringing out gross domestic product (GDP) growth data co-relating it with impact on the environment.

“This expert group will provide a road map for ‘Green’ National Accounts... By 2015, we would report Gross Domestic Product (GDP) after taking into account environmental costs,” he said after releasing an interim report on low carbon strategies for inclusive growth.

The panel will also include distinguished economists Nitin Desai, Vijay Kelkar and Kirit Parikh, he said.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who was also present on the occasion, said, “I fully endorse the view of Jairam Ramesh that growth should be sustainable and it is desirable that we should reduce emission intensity.”

The decision to conduct the assessment study comes in the backdrop of questions whether fast economic growth was coming at the cost of environment.

Mr. Ramesh had recently questioned the country’s nine per cent growth reports, contending that if the impact on ecology had been taken into consideration, the growth would have been only around six per cent.

He had said from 2015 onwards, the impact of ecology would be part of calculations to judge the economic growth.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2017 8:33:38 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/govt-to-assess-whether-economic-growth-is-hurting-environment/article2003837.ece