BoA to consider 5-year extension for recycling units following talks on safeguards

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on December 29, 2020

Three-month extension given in September to lapse this month-end

The Centre will consider a proposal to give a five-year extension to plastic recycling and worn and used clothing units in Kandla, Falta and Noida SEZs after the three-month extension given in September expires this month-end.

“A decision will be taken by the Board of Approval on SEZs on future extension of the plastic recycling units and worn clothing in its January 6 meeting in the light of the recent circulation of a draft policy with various conditions and safeguards for the units to follow,” an official told BusinessLine.

A meeting was held on December 12 between officials of stakeholder departments including the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and the Development Commissioners (DC) to discuss the divergent issues such as mandatory minimal export requirements in terms of volume and value as well as other safeguards to prevent abuse and finalisation of policy for plastic and worn and used cloth recycling units in SEZs, according to the agenda for the BoA meeting next week.

“The draft minutes of the meeting and the draft policy has been circulated to the concerned departments for their comments/concurrence on December 21 2020,” the agenda said.

Solid plastic waste

There is indecision around extension of the LoA to the recycling units in the three SEZs because of the government’s overall ban on issue of new licences for such units in the rest of the country. Although till last year SEZs and EoUs were allowed to run recycling units by importing solid plastic waste, in March 2019, the Ministry of Environment and Forest prohibited import of solid plastic waste in such units. However, a few dozen plastic recycling units listed in KASEZ, Falta and Noida were exempted from this.

“The government has been extending the LoA of units in SEZs on a piece-meal basis, but most units want a longer extension so that there is continuity in their business decision-making. That is why a five-year extension is being sought,” an industry source said. Since the minutes of the meeting that discussed various safeguards and requirements as well as the draft policy have already been circulated, there would already be some checks and balances in place.

The BoA, in its meeting on September 25, had last extended the Letter of Approval (LoA) of total 47 plastic recycling and worn and used clothing units in Kandla SEZ, Noida SEZ and Falta SEZ for a period of three months or finalisation of policy in this regard.

“DC, KASEZ has recommended renewal of the units for a further period of five years. No recommendations have been received from NSEZ and Falta SEZ,” according to the agenda.

Published on December 29, 2020

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