Virbhadra refutes HP Government's claim on carbon credits

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Shimla, May 11 (UNI) Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today termed the BJP Government's claim that the previous Congress Government had not recognised the source of funding available to the state under carbon credit project ''as false misleading and politically motivated''.

The previous Congress Government had already taken note of this and had highlighted those in the World Bank Development Policy Loan and World Bank funded Rampur Hydro Electric Project, he said in a release here.

Mr Singh said the hydel projects awarded to the private sector also included the carbon credit components, besides in May last year, under the Mid-Himalayan Watershead Development Project, the World Bank had agreed, in principle, to implement this scheme for selling carbon credits to the bank to directly benefit the growers.

India has been such the first country in Asia and the second in the World to have such a scheme, he added.

He said if the matter is pursued effectively, Himachal could get a sum of Rs one lakh crore rather than Rs 15 thousand crore only as against the state government's claim.

Trading in carbon credit was established by the United Nations and countries, emitting carbon dioxide, monoxide and other harmful gases that were directly responsible for global warming, higher than the permitted norms would have pay those countries which were emitting less than the permitted norms, he added.

The former chief minister said this facility was available to government as well as private sector all over the World.

He rubbished the BJP Government's claim that the scheme was its brainchild, saying that the recent visit of the official team to Costa Rica was only a follow up action for the implementation of the scheme.

The manner in which it was claiming carbon credits for everything only reflected its ignorance regarding the concept, he said.

Mr Singh said any proposals not backed by adequate scientific data was bound to weaken the state's case.

Besides, the entire process to obtain carbon credit was quite cumbersome and time consuming and it was highly unlikely that any money would be available from this source by July, this year as was also being claimed by the state government, he added.

UNI AS HS GL BD1755

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