Wednesday 30 March 2022

Climate Change on the periphery of Rajasthan State budget 2022

Mitali Soni

“Climate change is real. It is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”

Leonardo Di Caprio, Actor & Environmentalist

Climate change is the greatest global challenge, which through a multitude of impacts poses a risk to our ecology, economy and society. Studies show that changes in the climate of Rajasthan are over and above the natural climate variability prevailing in the region. Experts say that Rajasthan falls in areas of greatest climate sensitivity, maximum vulnerability and lowest adaptive capacity. Rajasthan is the largest state in India covering an area of 34.22 million hectares (10.5 percent of the country’s geographical area), but sharing only 1.16 percent of its water resources. It is the driest state with nearly 70 percent (2/3rd) of the area classified as arid and semi-arid region that makes the land unfit for cultivation.

Climate change challenges being faced by state

Climate change is a global challenge with diverse implications at the national and subnational levels, through impacts on various sectors such as agriculture, environment and human health. It has made water scarcity problem worse, as it has the potential to disrupt livelihoods and well-being of farmers through impacting weather patterns. According to the Ground Water Year Book 2020-2021 Rajasthan, Comparison of water level for January 2021 with the mean of January 2011-20 infer that water levels in 60.76% stations shows decline. Over exploitation and excess use of groundwater has led to substantial decline in water levels which may ultimately result in drying up of aquifers in many areas of state. For drinking and irrigation purpose, 90% of state’s population rely upon groundwater.

 Climate Change and Environment in state budget 2022

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot presented the state budget for the financial year 2022-23 touched almost every area or sector (Health, Agriculture, social security, infrastructure, tourisms, etc.). In the Budget speech, announcement regarding various schemes related to these sectors were made. 

Some of the announcements made in the budget 2022-23, from the perspective of environment protection and improving the climate change situations include proposal of plantation to be done in more than 50000 hectares of forest area in the coming year to increase the forest cover and increase greenery in the state. In order to ensure proper disposal of e-waste, it is proposed to set up a Jaipur-waste recycling park along with bringing in 'e-waste disposal policy'. There is an exemption of 50% in motor vehicle tax to promote new vehicles running on CNG for pollution control. Now this exemption will also be admissible on CNG Kit Retrofitment vehicles. The step has been taken to promote the use of cleaner fuel and CNG is an environment friendly fuel and emits less carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, particulate matter and smoke, as compared to petrol and diesel engines. 

Irrigation facility will be developed for the farmers of tribal area through solar energy based community water-lifting irrigation scheme through 50 lift irrigation schemes. Switching to solar energy eases reliance on fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil. This move will have direct influence on the reduction of emission of harmful gases to the atmosphere. With a view to reduce the cost of energy generation and carbon emissions, expansion of Chhabra Thermal Power Station based on ultra-super critical technology and lignite coal, which in turn produces less heat and less amount of carbon-di-oxide and Sulphur-di-oxide.

Some of the announcements made about the agriculture are also environment friendly and can change the climate change situations include proposal of Rs 2700 crores under Rajasthan Micro Irrigation Mission, which can boost yields while lowering water, fertilizer, and labour costs. The approach lowers water loss by conveyance, run-off, deep percolation, and evaporation by providing water directly to the root zone. Ground Water Conservation and Management Authority will be formed for the proper use of ground water in the state. Under the Rajasthan Organic Farming Mission, Rs. 600 crores has been proposed with the perception to benefit 4 lacs farmers in 3 years. To promote the production and sale of organic products, purchase of organic products and sale of these products at grocery stores like Confed and Co-operative consumer stores, departmental stores, D-mart stores etc. shall be provided. I appreciate government for promoting organic farming as this will avoid pesticides and mitigate climate change by reducing GHG gas emissions and stores carbon in soil.

Special Emphasis on Health Sector

As India enters the third year in its fight against the global pandemic, special focus on health sector is clearly visible in budget speech. In 2022-23, there is about 23.6% increase in health sector vudget compared to the budget estimate of year 2021-22. As mentioned above, various announcements related to environment were made which are leading towards the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions will be beneficial in improvement of respiratory, cardiovascular and various chronic diseases contributing to well-being. As discussed the water availability concerns in the beginning of this article, Under Jal Jivan Mision,24 new missions are going to be started through which 12,24,000 families will get Potable Drinking water and proposal of announcement regarding 36 new projects were done. 


The state budget 2022-23 is an ambitious budget which has covered almost each and every area but did not directly discuss climate change but various announcements were done. With respect to environment, as mentioned above in the Rajasthan budget 2019-20, it was announced to draft a new policy on Climate Change but it has not come yet.

A question was raised in Rajasthan Legislative Assembly on 15/02/2022 with reference to the climate change policy and the establishment of the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change in the State. The following answer  was given by the state government:

“The announcement of bringing climate change policy by the state government was made in the budget 2019-20. The draft of climate change policy has been prepared with the help of IIT Bombay, which will be finalized soon.” (Quoted from Rajasthan Assembly website)

Earlier also the government had prepared a State action plan on climate Change. However, there is no information on its implementation or outcome. It is appreciable that state government is taking initiatives such as organic farming, promoting CNG vehicles which are pro environment and beneficial for human health too. Under Jal Jeevan Mission, the government has again emphasized providing tapped drinking water to every rural household but as records shows that groundwater level is decreasing at a rapid pace, therefore it is the matter of concern that by how the government will ensure sustainability in drinking water prgrammes. The government, therefore, must take proactive measures to check the environmental degradations and make the development climate resilient. 

Mitali is a public policy graduate and an independent consultant.


  1. Article is written very systematically emphasizing almost all auspects on subject climate change.Indeed very good efforts have been made in writing this article.

  2. Nice piece of research.. Nicely covered

  3. Budgeting from climate perspectives, indeed, is a need of the era. Such analyses are now essential to understand the policy perspectives on climate change and environmental issues. This becomes even more important for a state like Rajasthan, one of the most vulnerable state in terms of climate change impacts. Thank you Madam.