India to include environmental cost in growth rate: Ramesh

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NEW DELHI - By 2015, India will report its gross domestic product (GDP) in a manner that takes into account the cost of the environment, its preservation and natural resources, Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh said Tuesday.

“We need to redefine the way we measure growth and take into account the ecological environmental deficit,” he said.

“By 2015, we will not only consider GDP as conventionally measured today but will also be reporting the GDP defining the estimated cost of the environment, its preservation and natural resources,” Ramesh said during the 5th Sustainability Summit: Asia 2010 here.

He said if taken in the economic terms, India is reporting the GDP growth at 8 percent per year. However, the actual GDP rate which takes into account cost of environment is 2.5 percent lower.

“This means 8 percent GDP growth in conventional term is actually 5.5 percent in environmental terms. There is a significant difference,” he said.

The minister said India will be the first country to quantify biodiversity to know the economic value of the wealth in the country.

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