India to double coal tax under 2016-17 budget

Clean energy, nuclear and irrigation systems to benefit under budget announced by finance chief Arun Jaitley

(Pic: Pixabay)

(Pic: Pixabay)

By Ed King

India is to double a tax on a tonne of coal from 200 to 400 Rupees (around US $6) under new plans to boost investment for clean energy and the environment.

The move will likely raise power costs across the country, which relies on coal for over 70% of electricity production and has plans underway to boost coal capacity 50%.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley made the announcement in his 2016-17 budget speech on Monday, where he also revealed over $430 million of funding for a new nuclear power programme.

Report: India air pollution is now worse than China

Funding for the agriculture sector and irrigation projects rose 84% on last year, as the government seeks to ensure India’s farmers are more resilient in the face of changing weather patterns.

The country suffered back-to-back droughts in 2014 and 2015, hitting crop output and leaving reservoirs at record low levels. 2015 rains in Maharashtra were 40% below normal.

Read more on: Fossil Fuels | India |