Plastic recycling units in SEZ: Centre to consider plan for five-year extension

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on September 20, 2020 Published on September 20, 2020

The Environment Ministry will eventually seek a complete ban on the import of plastic waste   -  PAUL NORONHa

Board of Approval to examine the proposal, given that a policy framework for such units has not yet been formulated

The Centre will consider a proposal for granting a five-year extension to existing plastic and worn-clothing recycling units in special economic zones in Kandla (KASEZ), Gujarat, Falta, Kolkata, and Noida, Uttar Pradesh, as a policy framework on such units is yet to be finalised by the relevant ministries and departments.

“A meeting to resolve the divergent views and finalise a roadmap or policy framework for such existing units in SEZs and EoUs was held on September 8, 2020. As the policy is yet to be finalised, the BoA (Board of Approval for SEZs) may take a decision on further extension of LoA (letter of approval) of the plastic recycling and worn and used clothing units in KASEZ, Noida SEZ and Falta beyond September 30, 2020,” as per the agenda of the BoA meeting scheduled on September 25.

So far, the BoA has been giving piece-meal extensions to the recycling units as it waited for a final policy, according to an official keeping a track of the meetings. Requests for a five-year extension this time has been made by Development Commissioners of KASEZ and Falta SEZ.

Import ban

SEZs and EoUs were allowed to run recycling units till last year by importing solid plastic waste, although the government had banned issue of new licenses for such units in the rest of the country more than a decade ago.

In March 2019, the Ministry of Environment and Forest prohibited import of solid plastic waste in SEZs and EoUs as well; but a few dozen plastic recycling units listed in KASEZ, Falta and Noida were exempted from this.

The fate of the active units in these SEZs has to be now decided by the ministries concerned through proper policy formulation and a road-map, as the Ministry of Environment seeks to ultimately impose a complete ban on import of plastic waste.

The BoA had constituted a Committee on plastic waste recycling and worn and used clothing, whose recommendations are being discussed by the Directorate General of Export Promotion under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs and other stakeholder departments.

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Published on September 20, 2020
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