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Bengal should impose ‘green cess’ on electricity: Expert


Kolkata : The West Bengal government needs to impose a nominal “green” cess on electricity so that it has sufficient funds to dole out fiscal incentives which can lure industry to embrace green and clean technology, said an expert Monday.

“Imposing a ‘green cess’ on electricity is a must. With sufficient funds generated by the cess, the government can provide attractive fiscal incentives to the industry for adopting green and clean technology, said S.P. Gonchaudhuri, a member of the Tripura State Planning Board.

“A nominal cess will not burden the people and the measure will result in reducing carbon footprint,” he added.

Gonchaudhuri, along with other experts, was speaking at a project on adopting suitable fiscal instruments to facilitate low carbon economic development, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

“I had suggested this measure to the (erstwhile) Left Front government in 2008 but in spite of agreeing initially, the measure did not take off. If states like Gujarat and Maharastra can successfully adopt it, why can’t Bengal?” he said.

State pollution board chairman Binay Dutta, stressing the need for clean technology, suggested disincentives for higher carbon emission.

“There is a need for green audit. Units found guilty of excessive carbon emission should be subjected to disincentives. This will act as a negative incentive for the industry to go for clean technology and reduce carbon footprint,” he said.

Joyashree Roy of Jadavpur University, who presented an initial review report of the project, said: “The fiscal reforms discussed under the project, will in no way burden the state exchequer. Rather they will be beneficial to all, be it the government, industry or the society.”