‘Scrap subsidies on petroleum, coal-based energy resources’

Panaji, June 20 (IANS) Leading industrialist Jamshyd Godrej has called for a paradigm shift in India’s approach vis-a-vis tax and subsidy structures related to petroleum and coal-based energy resources.

Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of the annual general body meeting of the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry Saturday, Godrej, a special invitee at the do, said the Gulf of Mexico oil spill ought to serve as a reminder to the world that petroleum-based economy has its limitations.

‘We need a paradigm change in our approach to petroleum and coal. The tax structures and subsidies to petroleum products need to be re-looked at,’ said Godrej, the chairman and managing director of the Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Company Ltd.

‘The entire subsidy structure needs to be reversed. Instead of providing subsidies to petroleum and coal-based energy resources, these sectors should be taxed and subsidies should instead be granted to renewable energy resources and practices,’ Godrej said.

He said the Gulf of Mexico oil spillage had only confirmed that there was no way to control disasters triggered while exploiting petroleum-based energy sources.

Known for his environmental pursuits, Godrej, a former president of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), India, said a novel pilot project involving usage of renewable energy resources being carried out by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the US-based Rockefeller Foundation in India, could serve as an eye opener as far as the importance and practicality of non-renewable energy resources are concerned.

‘The lakhs of mobile phone towers in rural India are presently operated using diesel generator sets. What the CII project aims to do is run these towers using locally generated power from renewable resources,’ Godrej said.

He said such ‘green’ mobile towers could help India save billions of dollars in petroleum-based fuel, otherwise needed to keep the mobile phone towers running.

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