Niti Aayog pushes the government to make the usage of recycled materials up to 25 per cent in large infrastructure projects mandatory. Surfaces Reporter also appreciates the suggestion made by Amitabh Kant, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Niti Aayog, who recommended the government to utilize at least 25 per cent of recycled products like plastics, paper or metals in big infrastructure projects to promote secondary producers across India. If the government works upon this suggestion, it will help in reducing raw material cost by at least 10-15% and increasing resource efficiency without compromising on project quality.
Amitabh Kant, said in a webinar organised by the Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI):
“We will recommend to the government that it should make 25 per cent use of recycled products — metals, plastics and paper — in large infrastructure projects to promote secondary products across India.”
Because of the strong presence of primary products, the secondary products hardly gets space in large infrastructure projects at present. Moreover, almost similar price of primary and secondary products is also one of the reason due to which recycled products are ignored. However, recycled materials do not lose any physical or chemical properties and are equally good as primary products.
“There is a need to set up a nodal ministry for the material recycling industry for better regulation and growth. The recycling industry does not get proper attention because of the absence of a parent ministry. Recycling being a wealth creator, we will extend all possible support from various ministries to the betterment of the recycling industry in India,” Amitabh Kant said.
Sanjay Mehta, president, MRAI, echoed to Amitabh Kant and stated, “Realising the value of recycling, over the last 50 years, China has become the biggest producer of metals, plastic, paper and other valuable materials and truly ‘atmanirbhar’ by importing duty-free scrap as raw material from all over the world. Now, it is our turn, but for that, the recycling industry needs policy support.”
There is an inverse duty structure in India for secondary producers. Unlike other countries which levy ‘nil’ import duty on scrap to promote recycling, India charges around 2.5 per cent customs duty on it. On the other hand, the finished products from Asian countries are imported at ‘zero’ duty under the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).
In that sense also, this plea by Niti Aayog sounds good. Sanjay Mehta further said, “The industry has been waiting for a national recycling policy for two years, and the developmental work in the industry has stopped. Promoting recycling industry would reduce our dependence on finite, non-renewable virgin natural resources, which can be saved for the future generations.”
Established in 2015 by replacing Planning Commission, NITI Aayog stands for National Institution for Transforming India which is the premier policy 'Think Tank' of the Government of India that offer both directional and policy inputs.
Text Courtesy: https://www.business-standard.com/