Shimla: With the Prem Kumar Dhumal government laying claiming to have achieved a major through in international carbon credit trading, the states green policy has become the latest turf for settling political scores.
Former chief minister Virbhadra Singh in a communiquÃ© today laid claim to having set the modality of earning carbon credits into motion.
The Dhumal government is deliberately misleading the people over the issue of carbon credits, says Virbhadra Singh. It was the previous congress government which pioneered the concept not just in the state but in the country, he claimed.
He said that the Mid-Himalayan Watershed Development Project that was approved in May 2007 was the first ever scheme in principle approved by the World Bank for selling carbon credits, directly to the bank for the benefit of the growers. Approval of the scheme put India, the first Asian country on the map, to be able to earn such credits, said Singh.
Taking benefit of the Kyoto protocol, the congress government had also taken care of the carbon credit financing facility while negotiating the development policy loan as well as the World Bank funding for the 420 MW Rampur Hydel project, he said.
Trading in carbon credits came into being just about 7 years ago and is presently being administered by the United Nations.
Dismissing the Dhumal governmentâ€™s claim that it was the BJP led government which had initiated trading in carbon credits, the former chief minister said that the recent visit by senior official to Costa Rica was only a follow up action for implementation of the scheme.
It is wrong to say that the earlier congress government did not recognise earning carbon credits as a revenue resource but the breakthrough made was falsely being projected as an achievement of the present regime, he said.
The former chief minister cautioned that the government by claiming carbon credits for everything only reflected its ignorance about the concept. â€œIf any proposal was not backed by credible scientific data, the states case on the issue would only weaken, he said.
Given the states policy of banning green felling about three decades ago, if the case is pursued in the right earnest, the hill state could get Rs 150,000 crore rather than Rs 15,000 crore as carbon credits, he said.
Virbhadra said that the process for obtaining carbon credits was cumbersome and time consuming. â€œIt was highly unlikely that the money from this source would available from July 2008, as was being claimed by the government, he said.