Economy

Union Budget 2021-22 cuts funds for autonomous bodies under environment ministry

The allocations are also lower than the actual expenditure for 2019-20

 
By Ishan Kukreti
Published: Monday 01 February 2021
Budgetary allocation for autonomous bodies under MoEFCC reduced for 2021-22

The total allocation for the five autonomous institutes under Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has been reduced in the Union Budget 2021-2022. The bodies in question are GB Pant Himalayan Institute of Environment and Development, Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute and Wildlife Institute of India.

The allocation of Rs 305.5 crore announced in Union Budget 2021-22 is not just lower than the previous Budget (Rs 340 crore), it is also lower than the actual expenditure in 2019-20 (Rs 326.5  crore). It is, however, higher than the revised estimate for 2020-2021 (Rs 289.45 crore).

The reduction in the current allocations and revised figures for 2020-21 could be because the ministry was unable to spend the money due to the restrictions induced by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The allocations made for the Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute this year is lower than the revised budget of 2020-21. This year, the institute has been allocated Rs 8.25 crore, while the revised figures for 2020-21 was Rs 10.25 crore.

Funds allocated for GB Pant Himalayan Institute of Environment and Development, this year stand at Rs 24 crore, lower than the Rs 28 crore allocated for 2020-21 but higher than the revised estimate of Rs 16.70 crore.

Rs 25.5 crore was allocated for Wildlife Institute of India in Budget 2021-22. This figure was Rs 34 crore for financial year 2020-21 and was revised to Rs 22 crore.

On September 30 last year, the Ministry of Finance, through its Department of Expenditure had reviewed the bodies under MoEF&CC and recommended disengagement with Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute, Indian Institute of Forest Management and Wildlife Institute of India.

The director of Wildlife Institute of India, Dhananjai Mohan had written to the joint director of the wildlife division of MoEF&CC, R Gopinath, on October 15. He said the institute has 112 serving employees and 65 pensioners and gets an annual grant-in-aid of Rs 34 crore from the ministry. 

The ministry, on October 28, wrote to the Prime Minister’s office urging that the proposal for it to disengage with the Wildlife Institute of India be reconsidered. However, it agreed ‘in principle’ to disengage with the Indian Institute of Forest Management.

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