Govt can''t afford withdrawing subsidy on fossil fuel: Farooq

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New Delhi, Feb 4 (PTI) The government today said itcan ill afford to withdraw subsidy on fossil fuel as the movewould hit the poor man hard, even as it appealed to the globalcommunity to remove barriers on technology transfer to tacklethe challenges of climate change and protect environment.

"The subsidy has to continue for our people tillpoverty disappears," New and Renewable Energy Minister FarooqAbdullah said.

He feared withdrawal of subsidy on fossil fuel likediesel will hit the poor man hard and further push up theinflation figure.

The Minister said this at the Delhi SustainableDevelopment Summit here while reacting to Canadianparliamentarian Stephane Dion''s appeal to phase out dieselsubsidy.

He appealed to the global community to overcome mutualdifferences and join hands to contain climate change and helppoor countries fight environmental degradation.

"This is a small world. Unless we protect it... if wethink I have to protect myself and not the other person, weare failing to understand the tragedy that is going to befallour children," he said.

Regretting that little progress could be achieved inCopenhagen and in Cancun on the issue of climate change, hecalled for an "honest" approach by the nations to address theproblem.

"We should meet this challenge by working with eachother, remove the barriers of technology transfer. It would beimpossible for poorer nations to afford those devices thatare needed to protect the environment," he said.

Stating that renewable energy and nuclear energy arebeing explored here as alternative fuels, he urged countrieswith expertise to help India attain efficiency in these areas.

He said while the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission hasbeen launched to generate 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022,the government was exploring the possibility of usinggeo-thermal energy in areas with wide use of diesel.

"We are also generating from wind energy nearly 12,000MW of power. Now we intend to go into the sea and exploittidal wave. For all these we need other countries to help us,"he said.

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