India's bid to be considered as an environment-friendly country received a boost in the budget with the announcement of a number of tax rebates to promote green technologies and a National Mission on hybrid and electric vehicles.
The budget, according to analysts, underlines the government's intent to promote cleaner fuel technologies, such as hydrogen and electricity, for the automobile industry, which saw a 30 per cent growth in 2010.
The sector had come in for some sharp criticism from environment minister Jairam Ramesh, who said diesel and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) were polluting India's urban air.
However, there was no increase in duties on SUVs, which Sunita Narain, director Centre for Science and Environment, said, was ''unacceptable''.
According to Kirit Parekh, former member of the Planning Commission and chairperson of the expert group on low carbon strategy for inclusive growth, the measure would certainly help reduce urban air pollution, he was not sure though, what kind of impact it would have on India's green house gas inventory.
India's urban air quality has deteriorated sharply in the past five years, as road development has failed to keep up with the rate of vehicular growth.