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India imposes coal tax.

In February, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced that a "Clean Energy Cess," or tax, of 50 rupees (US$1.10) per ton will be levied on domestic and imported coal. The funds will help establish a National Clean Energy Fund for financing "research and innovative projects in clean technologies," which likely include India's National Solar Mission and innovations to promote more-efficient use of coal.

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With India expected to consume 600 million tons of coal in the 2010-11 fiscal year, the tax would raise some 30 billion rupees ($660 million). The budget also reduces capital costs for solar-industry investors by providing a concessional duty of 5 percent on all machinery and technical equipment required for setting up photovoltaic and solar thermal units.

The decisions follow Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's announcement last December of voluntary and unilateral targets to reduce the emissions intensity of India's economy. In January, the government set up a panel to provide advice on low-carbon development. The panel, headed by Kirit Parikh, formerly of India's Planning Commission, has noted that "there is a need for a coherent view of potential options to be taken, and a mutually consistent strategy to be evolved to give the overall goal of low-carbon development a concrete shape."

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Author:Singh, Damandeep
Publication:World Watch
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 1, 2010
Words:208
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