Minister for Environment and Forests Thiru TR Baalu has urged the private sector to discharge its environmental responsibility. Inaugurating the South Asian Forum on Environmental Cooperation between Government and the private sector at Delhi on June 13, 2000, Thiru Baalu said that the corporate sector has the wherewithal to take over the stewardship of the environment, to match its role in the economy.
"While the Government will offer opportunities for growth, the private sector must ensure that the environmental concerns of the Government are safeguarded in the activities," he said.
Stating that our environmental problems emanate from the rapid development efforts, which we have been making since the last few decades, the Minister emphasised the need for bringing about a more comprehensive approach and focussed attention to our environmental problems.
Thiru Baalu said that private sector has to take the initiative to identify products and services that can be tested on the scale of mass and energy intensity, reuse, conservation and toxicity. "Some market-based instruments could help reduce the cost of environmental protection and stimulate environmentally sound technological changes, which in turn could reduce the pressure on resources. "The private sector, thus, can be a powerful engine for generating resources", the Minister added.