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“NEW DELHI: India has taken the first step to account for environmental damage while calculating its national income or gross domestic product. Various ministries have begun pooling data to create environment accounts for forest cover, water, waste and soil resources, among others, under a newly introduced System of Environmental Economic Accounting.

The work has just started on the system which can eventually yield benchmarks such as sustainability index and biodiversity index, officials said. The system, similar to the System of National Accounts that is followed to calculate economic growth, has been mandated by the United Nations Statistical Division, they said.

“We are in the process of collecting data, but there are many gaps. This is the preparatory stage…We are talking to other ministries if they can give us some data,” said a statistics ministry official, who did not wish to be identified. The statistics ministry has circulated a framework to other ministries to provide data for this endeavour which is designed to present a comprehensive picture of India’s growth…”

Read on at: The Economic Times