Understanding environmental protection expenditure in India

Trends, provision, and priority





Environmental protection (EP) refers to actions targeted to maintain or restore environmental quality associated with various economic activities through financial provision and initiatives. India’s suboptimal performance in EP and climate action so far raises an enquiry into the nature of priority assigned and provisions made for environmental protection expenditure (EPE). This paper examines the recent trends of EPE in India and finds a visibly lower share of EPE in total expenditure and lower rate of growth in comparison to other heads under Classification of the Functions of the Government (COFOG). Capital expenditure on EP has been less than current while subsidy, fund transfer, loans and advances have been near zero. The allocation for environment is inadequate in comparison to other budgetary heads. India fares poorly in EPE when compared to the leading OECD countries, who are global trendsetters for EPE. The current study points at the need for identifying EPE as a core priority area for designing sustainability policies for the long run, by suitably redesigning budget allocation and fund disbursement for implementation of environmental programmes.


Environmental Protection Expenditure, COFOG, OECD, Budgetary Allocation, Sectoral Share, Capital Expenditure, Current Expenditure


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Authors Bio

Anindita Roy Saha, Indraprastha College for Women

Anindita Roy Saha is a Professor at the Department of Economics, Head of the Department of Environmental Studies and Coordinator of the Centre for Earth Studies at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. She is a visiting faculty at the Department of Environmental Studies, Faculty of Science, University of Delhi.

Gargee Sarkar, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi

Gargee Sarkar is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. 


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