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Govt rejects plea for extension to SEZ units for importing plastic scrap

The proposal was put forth for final approval earlier this month by the Board of Approval (BoA) for SEZs under the chairmanship of Anup Wadhawan, Secretary, Department of Commerce

Dilip Kumar Jha  |  Mumbai 

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, India generates over 26,000 metric tonnes every day of plastic waste of which 6 per cent is MLP

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) has rejected a proposal to grant six-month extension to recycling units in three special economic zones (SEZs) for importing plastic scrap.

The proposal was put forth for final approval earlier this month by the Board of Approval (BoA) for SEZs under the chairmanship of Anup Wadhawan, Secretary, Department of Commerce, and with members from all leading departments involved in the monitoring of imports.

The BoA has already granted an import extension for six months from the date of the expiry of the existing import licence, i.e. November 30.

An official memorandum, dated December 18 and signed by Manoj Kumar Gangeya, director, MoEF, said, "The import of plastic waste is prohibited according to a notification issued on March 1. Therefore, the recommendation of the committee constituted by the BoA for all issues related to plastic recycling units in SEZs is not agreeable."

In order to consider issues related to plastic recycling and used clothing units in SEZs, a committee was constituted by the BoA, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The committee had given recommendations on procedure to be followed for renewal of letters of agreement (LoAs) of these units. These units import plastic waste. The three SEZs where recycling units are allowed to import plastic scrap include Kandla Special Economic Zone (Kasez), Falta SEZ in Kolkata, and Noida Special Economic Zone (NSEZ).

"The board decided to grant an extension of validity of LoA for a period of six months beyond November 30 (i.e. to May 31, 2020) to the listed plastic recycling units in KASEZ, Falta SEZ and NSEZ. The board directed to call a meeting with the committee on the policy for plastic recycling to discuss the policy matter and while the policy provisions are deliberated, the physical exports of the units shall be assessed on annual basis," said the minutes of the meeting of the BoA.

With this, around a dozen plastic recycling units engaged in processing imported scrap in the three SEZs would have to shut their factories.

First Published: Mon, December 23 2019. 18:17 IST
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