New Delhi: Despite the buzz word 'going green' catching up globally; India appears to have the dubious distinction of earmarking the least funds for protecting the environment.
   
The country is spending only 0.012 per cent of its GDP for addressing its primary green concerns including climate change, conservation of lakes and rivers, biodiversity, forests and wildlife, ensuring the welfare of animals and prevention and abatement of pollution.

"Currently, the percentage of GDP spent on environment in India is 0.012, whereas it is 1.0 in Japan, 0.4 in USA and 0.3 in Netherlands. The Annual Budget of Ministry of Environment and Forests at around Rs 2,000 crore is less than 0.25 per cent of the National Plan," says a plan paper submitted by the Ministry to the Planning Commission.

A concerned Ministry has sought a significant increase in its annual budget, noting that inadequate resources were coming in the way of environmental management.
   
Observing that the situation in the states and at the city level was "even worse", the paper said, "There is a case for significant increase in the investment on protection and conservation of the environment."

"The strategic initiatives proposed will require substantial investments. The exact magnitude of resources required for implementing the strategy will be worked out in detail," it said, adding, "... it is certain that this will require significant budgetary increase."
   
Ministry sources said it will hold dialogue with the Planning Commission, the Finance Ministry and the state governments to seek progressive enhancement of outlays on environment.

(Agencies)