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Nirmala Sitharaman on Budget 2019-20: Adopt Electric Vehicles, Public Transport to Avoid Polluting Fuels

The union government has proposed to impose additional 2 per cent excise duty on petrol and diesel in the budget for 2019-20

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electric sports car
It will re-establish our brand in the hearts and minds of sports car fans. Pixabay

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the tax proposals in the Union Budget for FY20 on fossil fuels and electric cars must push people to avoid polluting fuels and adopt either electric vehicles or public transport.

Sitharaman in an interaction with the media said the increase in the duty on petrol and diesel announced in the budget was not meant to hurt the middle class, but address environmental concerns. “If I am investing in better metro connectivity, public transport and better future transport, I would expect a behavioural shift towards using public transport rather than using one’s own car with a single passenger,” the Minister added.

In her budget speech, Sitharaman had announced that the softening of crude oil prices had given her the scope to increase the special additional excise duty and road and infrastructure cess by Re 1/litre each on petrol and diesel.

electric vehicles, budget 2019-20
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Wikimedia Commons

“If I had given people deduction for buying affoprdable house, is that for the super rich? Not at all, it is for the middle class. If I have also promoted the use of electric cars in place of fossil fuel vehicles, again, it is keeping in mind the commitments we have made for environment’s sake. I am also helping the middle class to shift from a fossil fuel run vehicle to one that runs on electricity,” she said.

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The union government has proposed to impose additional 2 per cent excise duty on petrol and diesel in the budget for 2019-20. With the budget the government has announced an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore for Phase 2 of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles, or FAME 2 scheme, to boost electric mobility and increase the number of electric vehicles in commercial fleets. (IANS)

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Hungary to Introduce Green Vehicles by 2022

"The plastic in the installation came from the Italian coast, collected by volunteers," Greenpeace explained in a statement

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green vehicles
"The program brings together economic development and green policies," the statement quoted Gyorgy Laszlo. Wikimedia Commons

Hungary’s public transport systems will offer greener services by switching to non-polluting vehicles, official sources said here on Tuesday.

“Regional councils are taking steps to introduce green buses to Hungary’s public transport system,” the Hungarian government announced in a statement on its website. “Over the course of ten years, the authorities anticipate that 7,500 vehicles will be changed to a greener alternative,” the statement said.

By 2022, passengers should be able to travel on green buses everywhere in the country. In the next two to three years, every sixth bus in the country is expected to be sustainable, the Xinhua news agency reported.

green vehicles
“The plastic in the installation came from the Italian coast, collected by volunteers,” Greenpeace explained in a statement. Wikimedia Commons

“The program brings together economic development and green policies,” the statement quoted Gyorgy Laszlo, minister of state responsible for economic strategy and regulation, as saying.

The switch to green vehicles will be co-financed by the Hungarian government, local city councils and privately-owned companies, including Ikarus, Kravtex, Inter Traction Electrics and Chinese electric bus and truck maker BYD. BYD opened its first European manufacturing plant in the industrial park at Komarom in northwestern Hungary after a $22.4 million investment in April 2017.

Also on Tuesday, Greenpeace staged a spectacular protest in the heart of Budapest by erecting two giant “whales from the patch of plastic garbage in the sea,” warning that plastic waste and microfibers were now everywhere, in seas, rivers, forests and even in drinking water.

green vehicles
BYD opened its first European manufacturing plant in the industrial park at Komarom in northwestern Hungary after a $22.4 million investment in April 2017. Pixabay

ALSO READ: UN: World Showing Lack of Ambition in Reducing Inequality, Countering Climate Change

“The plastic in the installation came from the Italian coast, collected by volunteers,” Greenpeace explained in a statement. The Hungarian government is aware of the dangers of plastic pollution, and announced in October 2018 a total ban on plastic bags from 2021 in order to help preserve the planet.

“From 2021, plastic bags will totally be banned in Hungary,” said Martina Makai, Deputy State Secretary for green economy, climate policy and key public services at the Ministry for Innovation and Technology. (IANS)