The following are some of our expectations from the Union budget 2014-2015 -
Energy: In the wake of the continuing power shortage in the country, we hope for some positive reforms towards promoting energy efficiency – demand side management and renewable energy. Priority lending to Renewable Energy projects and tax reduction on solar power equipment should be considered. Independent power producers are facing issues with fuel shortages for which policies have to be tweaked and the process simplified. Also the terms and conditions from the Government have to be changed in order not to be so one sided that power producers cannot get the support of funding institutions.
Energy Efficient products: Minimum energy efficiency norms have to be made compulsory. Customs duty / excise duty relaxation/lowering should be allowed to units manufacturing energy efficient products. This will promote manufacturing of energy efficient products in the country. This is especially for products using electricity. For e.g. motors
Water: Water efficiency like energy efficiency is very important - perhaps more than energy as the country faces the imminent danger of being water starved. Products that are water efficient –example cisterns that use only 2 or3 litres of water and equipment that help recycling grey water or sewage should also have a lower tax and duties.
Going green: At present the government does not have specific tax benefits or policies for mitigating the higher costs incurred in green buildings like higher levels of depreciation and tax breaks. Understanding the fact that going green is the need of the hour, we expect the government to extend subsidies and tax benefits for eco-friendly projects. Such steps would not only inspire more developers to build green projects but also help in lowering the carbon emissions. This will reduce the life cycle costs.
Addressing climate change: India has set the target to lower the carbon emission by 24% per cent over 2005 levels by 2020. Union government must set apart a budgetary allocation for all the above initiatives which will help in marching towards this goal.
Ranganath N. K., Managing Director, Grundfos India