Puducherry Blazes a Green Trail with Innovative Budgeting Workshop

Union Territory Pioneers Green Budgeting, Aligning Finances with Environmental Goals

In a pioneering move, the Puducherry government hosted a second workshop on Green Budgeting, a crucial step in integrating environmental considerations into financial planning. This initiative signals the union territory’s commitment to sustainable development and aligns with global efforts to combat climate change.

The workshop, organized by the Puducherry Climate Change Cell and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), saw over 50 officials from 20 departments converge to deepen their understanding of green budgeting. Representatives from finance, environment, fisheries, and even health and tourism participated, highlighting the cross-sectoral nature of environmental issues.

Speakers emphasized the transformative potential of green budgeting. “It’s not just about finances,” declared Ashish Madhaorao More, Secretary (Finance), “it’s a paradigm shift in how we approach economic planning.” He underscored the collaborative nature of this approach, stressing that “green budgeting isn’t the sole venture of one department, but a collective responsibility.”

Prodipto Ghosh, Distinguished Fellow at TERI and former Environment Secretary, echoed this sentiment: “Green budgeting should progressively become more detailed… the aspirational goal should be to quantify the environmental impacts of public spending.” This shift towards environmental accountability resonates with Puducherry’s recent green budget report, which saw a 153% increase in allocated funds compared to the previous year.

The workshop highlighted the need for efficient budget planning to ensure government spending aligns with environmental goals. K. Kalamegam, Environmental Engineer, emphasized the importance of “evolving good practices so that physical spending aligns with environmental targets and objectives.”

Moreover, the workshop resonated with the growing international call for green budgeting at the national level. Shailly Kedia, Senior Fellow at TERI, pointed to similar issue-based budgeting initiatives in India, like child and gender budgeting, and urged for the inclusion of green budgeting in the upcoming union budget.

Puducherry’s proactive approach to green budgeting sets a laudable precedent for other states and the national government. By mainstreaming environmental considerations into financial planning, Puducherry paves the way for a greener, more sustainable future not just for itself but for India as a whole.