What surprised many environmentalists and observers in Budget 2020 was the massive 17% boost in allocation for the environment sector, to ₹3,100 crore from ₹2,658 crore in 2019-20. This, when many were expecting a cut in the wake of the economic slowdown.
To add to this, the government even hiked the budget for National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) by almost 10-times to ₹4,400 crore from ₹460 crore and that of 'Project Elephant' to ₹35 crore from ₹30 crore.
However, the funding for 'Project Tiger' was brought down to ₹300 crore from ₹350 crore. Many point out that the devil is in the details.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body under the environment ministry that is responsible for the conservation of wild 'big cats', such as tigers, lions and leopards, got a mere ₹50 lakh hike, from the previous ₹10 crore.
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