Press Trust of india

Opposition members express concern over ‘ambiguous’ definition of carbon trading in energy conservation bill

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New Delhi:  Some opposition members expressed concern over the “ambiguous” definition of carbon trading during a discussion on the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday and alleged that it is tilted towards favouring a few corporates.

Participating in the debate, N K Premachandran of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) said the Bill is ambiguous about carbon trading and its definition is not clear.

“I reasonably apprehend that the Bill is designed with the sole intention to promote carbon trading…according to the legislation, there is no clear-cut definition of carbon credit. That means you are keeping Parliament in the dark with some ulterior motive,” he said.

M K Vishnu Prasad of the Congress said the Bill seems to favour certain corporates.

Energy conservation has to be promoted and carbon emission has to be restricted but in the process, corporates should not get an undue advantage, he said.

Prasad also suggested that the government should support a central public sector undertaking (CPSU) for promoting electric vehicles.

Making a case for referring it to a parliamentary committee, Gaurav Gogoi of the Congress said there are certain provisions in the Bill that need comprehensive deliberations.

He also said the government must ensure that the corporates do not pass on the responsibility of carbon emission reduction to the consumers.

It should explore the opportunity for harnessing tidal energy, Gogoi said.

Initiating the discussion on the Bill, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress said the government has hiked the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates on solar panels to 12 per cent, which has led to an increase in the production cost, while cheaper panels from China are flooding the market.

He expressed concern that the Bill will bring large residential buildings under its ambit and sought a clarification from the government on how the compliance and penalties provisions would affect the common man.

Chowdhury also said while subsidies on renewable energy are reducing, they are being given to electric vehicles.

He added that the states should also have the right to issue carbon credit certificates.

G S Pon of the DMK said although the country has been discussing electric mobility, nothing concrete has happened in terms of charging stations.

Supriya Sule of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) sought to know from the government the rationale behind a reverse bidding in renewable energy contracts.

She also sought to know from the government whether it has held discussions with the stakeholders on carbon credit trading.

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