The central government announced plans to monetise assets in a bid to raise ₹6 lakh crore ($81 billion) in a span of four years. The National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) will focus on railways, coal mining and airports. The scheme will put up 15 railway stadiums and 160 coal mines for monetisation. The plan also includes monetising assets such as roads, gas pipelines and power transmission lines. NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the road sector includes 26,700km of assets, which will generate ₹1.60 lakh once monetised, and the Centre is looking to monetise 28,608 ckt km of transmission lines worth ₹45,200 crore to be undertaken by PowerGrid. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman made it clear that the government was not selling any of the assets. Their ownership will remain solely with the government and they will have to be handed back after a certain time period, the FM added.
Indian cabinet nod to ₹11,040 crore boost to domestic production of palm oil
India’s Union cabinet gave its nod to a ₹11,040 crore mission that aims to increase domestic production of palm oil. India is currently heavily reliant on palm oil imports, especially from Indonesia and Malaysia. The National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) will focus on developing production in the northeast and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. While palm oil has proven to be a viable economic crop, its production comes with environmental challenges primarily deforestation and damage to the ecology when produced unsustainably.
India gives nod to phasing out hydrofluorocarbons as per Kigali Amendment to Montreal protocol
India approved the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol for the phase down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by India. The amendment dictates industries using and producing hydrofluorocarbons to phase them out and switch to non-HFC and low global warming potential technologies, according to a government press release. A national strategy for the phase down will be developed by 2023. The phase down is expected to prevent 105 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gases to be emitted into the atmosphere, and prevent global mean temperatures from rising by up to 0.5°C by 2100.
PM Modi’s $1.35 trillion infra plan to focus on clean energy, electric mobility
On the country’s Independence Day, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi announced his government’s plans to unveil a $1.35 trillion infrastructure plan that will aim to create more jobs and expand the market for cleaner fuels. Although the PM did not reveal any details, the plan called “Gati Shakti”, he did set a target for the country to become energy independent by 2047. He spoke of achieving this target by pushing for electric mobility, and switching to a gas-based economy. The PM also launched the National Hydrogen Mission that aims to make the country a hydrogen production hub as part of India’s clean energy plans.
₹6.19 lakh crore bank loans in India at risk from climate change: Report
A new report highlighted the risks that climate change poses to the Indian banking system. Bank loans from India’s leading financial institutions amounting to around ₹6.19 lakh crore were at risk from extreme weather events, according to a report by non-profit organisation CDP. The banks include State Bank of India and HDFC bank. According to CDP, these banks must look to transition to cleaner investments and away from the coal projects that they are currently locked into funding.