Delhi industries minister Satyendra Jain said on Tuesday that the government has decided to do away with the requirement of consent from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and MCD trade license for issuance of acknowledgment under the provisions of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED), 2006 Act.
“This is only for small-scale industries. There are no polluting industries of the scale in Delhi, so what is the point of an environmental clearance. Both requirements regarded an acknowledgment needed from the MCD and the DPCC — which was only bureaucratic red tape. Our effort is to make Delhi as pro-industry as possible and we want to do away with such time-consuming, needless processes,” Jain said.
The DPCC categorised consent for MSME under two categories — 194 types of green category MSME, which include enterprises with low pollution levels and required “simplified” consent from the DPCC. The second category includes 393 types of moderately polluting enterprises which includes enterprises ranging from automobile servicing and repairs stations to hotels. “The red category of enterprises, which are categorised as heavily polluting are very few in Delhi and strict laws exist to monitor those,” a senior environment department official said.
But DPCC officials admitted that the problem of monitoring existing small-scale industries was far more complicated. “We have very little manpower and it’s impossible for us to actually monitor on a regular basis the extent to which certified industries are polluting. Hotels might not be managing their waste properly or sewage from a automobile repair shop may be dumped into a stream. On the other hand, there exist a number of small-scale and completely illegal polluting unit — these are often in areas where any action taken leads to a political backlash. Our hands are tied in the matter,” said a DPCC official.
According to officials, the earlier requirement of DPCC consent and MCD trade licence deterred a large number of traders to actually seek acknowledgment under the existing MSMED Act, since the requirements of licence led to delay, harassment and increase in transaction cost in doing business. “Instead of getting separate acknowledgment from the DPCC and the MCD, we will forward a copy of the registration of industries to the two bodies. This will make the process smoother,” he added.
“The DPCC issues consent to establish and consent to operate for industries. While we’re not against environmental clearances and we want industries to follow green norms, how can industries that have been around for decades look to be issued consent for operation and establishment,” said Girish Bhatnagar, chairman, south zone, Apex Chamber of Commerce.
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