States protecting environment would be compensated: FC

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Shimla, Jun 9 (UNI) The thirteenth Finance Commission will look for ways to compensate the states for environment protection measures, Commission chairman Vijay Kelkar said today.

Environment protection has emerged as an important area of concern and besides sensitising people about the need to preserve and protect the environment, the states preserving the green cover and biodiversity deserved to be compensated, he said before leaving for Delhi, after concluding the four-day visit of the Commission.

Dr Kelkar said the depleting green cover, receding glaciers and global warming were causing concern world over and major initiative for earning carbon credits through clean development management was needed.

The Himachal government has also sought special dispensation of over Rs 10,500 crore for this purpose, he said.

He said he was impressed by environment awareness among the people of Himachal even in remote and tribal areas and disclosed that during his interaction with people there, he saw their concern over the damage caused to biodiversity, forests, ecology and natural sources of water due to construction of hydropower projects.

The Panchayat members and sthe Sarpanch raised these issues before the Commission members and made convincing presentation, he said.

Dr Kelkar added that the state's human development indicators were quite encouraging and the state had done well in the areas of education, health and rural electrification and this development must be sustained and focus should shift to no-conventional sources of energy.

Referring to the demand of the state for meeting the revenue deficit on account of implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, he said the Commission need not necessarily pay salaries.

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