Policy continuity and concerns in Indian elections

(Eco Business, 27 May 2019) The resounding victory for the governing party in India’s elections means that it is likely to continue championing the policies it embarked on in 2014, some of them with serious environmental consequences.

The resounding victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition in India’s parliamentary election, with Narendra Modi back as Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy, means policy continuity in energy, water, environment, pollution and climate change, according to most policymakers and policy advisers who spoke to thethirdpole.net as the election result became clear. Specifically:


Clean energy and clean mobility are set to get a big boost, and the government may take steps to address the short-term pains that have been caused by recent policy moves by the outgoing government. These moves have stalled the rollout of new solar and wind energy projects. There has been a big policy push for electrification of public transport, but makers of private e-vehicles see this as having happened at their cost.

Coal-fired power plants will continue to function, and there will probably be no fresh move to retire coal plants beyond those already slated for retirement. At the same time, there will be no encouragement to set up new coal-fired power plants.

A huge boost to increase availability of cooking gas is expected. Distribution of nearly 13 million free cooking gas cylinders to poor homes is seen by the BJP as one of the two welfare measures that enabled it to return to power. This scheme is stalling, due to a shortage of replacement cylinders, and the BJP knows this problem needs to be sorted out quickly.

Another scheme that is seen as a success is the one to build 18 million toilets. While the pace of construction has been impressive, the scheme is running into problems because of a lack of sewerage connections, and more importantly, a lack of water.

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Eco Business, 27 May 2019: Policy continuity and concerns in Indian elections