Ecology has become a critical issue in India with a lot of organisations and the Union Government showing particular interest in it. The key element, of course, is global warming and the steady erosion of ozone layer because of carbon di oxide emissions from several sources into the atmosphere.
The main culpable sources are automobile, realty and raw materials sectors. With crude oil price ruling high its impact on fuel and the prices of essential commodites is considerable. Inflation is 11 per cent now and the steady grabbing of farm land in the outskirts of every city - Tier 1 and Tier 2 - has virtually cut into farm production. Pulses and vegetables, at this rate, will be out of pace with demand and the prices will leave a yawn behind. So far as the middle income group is concerned it would mean an erosion to the extent of 20 per cent in their buying power. Only the upper income group will be able to offset the rise while lower income group and those below the poverty line will expect the PDS to meet their needs.
With realty sector, the position is optimistic because of the heavy inflow of foreign funds and the tie ups local builders get into with them. Builders are concerned with the profit margin and would compromise on the price level so long as it does not sting their purse. Their concern for ecology is even less than for raw materials and could always put up attractive landscaping to trumpet their eco concerns. But their need for land is consistent and they would branch out into the outskirts so long as the buyers are there. It means extension of housing/commercial complexes geographically is an undeniable fact. Artificial increase in land value has not been arrested and the government seems to be able to do little about it. So urbanisation will be total but quality life is beyond anybody's comprehension.
The same yardstick applies to automobile or any other core sector because they are all ruled by price tyranny. Globalisation has made it impossible for a particular country to keep price levels reachable because of interdependent economies.
There is need for eco rating now. It means that every sector - realty, automobile or engineering - must be allowed to have their physical resources in place without upsetting ecology. Tax must be so computed to penalise them for the level of harm to ecology and conversely give them relief to the extent of contribution to protecting ecology. Eco rating deserves a deeper attention than is getting now.