global south: ​One-sided carbon tax measures by advanced nations go against Global South: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

2023-12-07 08:57:10

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday voiced concerns against the “one-sided” move by advanced jurisdictions like the EU to impose tariffs on high-carbon goods coming from other sources, saying it goes against the interests of the Global South and that the green agenda shouldn’t be pursued by some at the expense of others.

Speaking at the Global Economic Forum 2023 in the National capital, the minister also said “no spectacular announcements are made in the Vote On Account”. The Interim Budget that the government typically presents is just to be able to meet its expenditure until a new government comes in, she added. The event was organised by the Department of Economic Affairs with industry body CII.

The government will present an interim budget for FY25 in February as elections are due April-May. The final budget for FY25 is likely to be presented in July next year by the new government.

Pitching for inclusive global growth, the minister said: “I will impose on you a certain tax because you are coming up with non-green products. And with that money, I will make my industry green. The border adjustment tax logic just goes against the concern of the Global South.”

She stressed that every country must try and garner funds to meet their green commitments but that resource generation must not be at the cost of poor and developing countries. “If anything, it’s not moral at all,” she added.

The EU’s plan to impose tariffs ranging from 20% to 35% on products like steel and cement through the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) comes into effect from 2026. According to a report by Wood Mackenzie, the cost of India’s steel exports to the EU would rise by 56% by 2034 due to the CBAM. Even the UK is considering a carbon border tax.Four pillars
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the minister said, has focussed on four pillars—the poor, the farmers, the youth and the women—among others.

Sitharaman highlighted the need for bolstering female participation in every sphere of the economy and beyond.

“We need more women in policy-making, more women in the board rooms, more women in businesses and more women even on the shop floors,” she said.

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