Activities of All India Plastic Industries Association
EDITORIAL
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Committee constituted by Govt. of NCT of Delhi to examine objections received against notification dated 20/09/2011 proposing to ban manufacture of plastic carry bags

AIPIA presents its views to the Committee on 16/01/2012

The gist of discussion with the Committee constituted by Govt. of NCT to examine the objections received against their notification dated 20/09/2011 was conveyed vide association’s letter No. AIPIA/16/2011-12 dated 20/01/2012, text of which is printed below for the information of the members:

“While thanking the Govt. of NCT for giving us an opportunity to present our views regarding the subject matter, we recall discussions with the Committee on 16/01/2012 when the following was stated on behalf of the association :

  1. It was reiterated that the %age of plastic carry bags in MSW is less than 1%. Why should we debate on such a small issue when all our focus should be on efficiently handling the other 99% of MSW? What is needed is continuous collection & disposal of MSW, including waste of plastics, by effectively implementing MoEF rules viz. MSW (Management & Handling) Rules 2000 updated vide notification dated 04/02/2011.
  2. All the technical facts were placed before the Committee of MoEF, Govt. of India, when it first issued a draft notification regarding plastic carry bags. MoEF had numerous meetings with the stake holders at various levels from all over India and after taking into consideration all scientific data, pollution potential and other parameters, it came to the conclusion that manufacture, use, sale & storage of plastic carry bag is a non polluting activity and if the minimum thickness of plastic carry bag is doubled, it would take care of almost all problems of littering/pollution alike. Thus it increased the minimum thickness to 40 microns instead of prevailing thickness of 20 microns and allowed manufacture, usage, sale & storage of all kind of plastic carry bags, across the country. Hence emerged this notification No.S.O.249(E) dated 4/2/2011 – Plastic Waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2011. The problem of environmental clutter can get tackled automatically as rag pickers would pick up thicker plastic carry bag for their higher resale value. Had there been any short coming in the Central Govt.’s (MoEF) notification as mentioned above, Govt. of NCT should have pointed out to the Committee of MoEF in its various meetings held before its finalization? We were there to, along with some members of this current committee also..
  3. Regarding thinner plastic carry bags (below 40 microns), it was pointed out by the association’s representatives that carry bags, less than even 20 microns thickness, have been regularly arriving in Delhi from places like Halol in Gujarat, Units in Daman & Diu and Maharashtra in large quantities. The association had, in the past, sent samples of packets of thinner bags arriving from the above states which carried the name address, email id of the concerned manufacturers. It was also informed that to manufacture less than 20 microns plastic carry bags requires high speed sophisticated equipment. Units in NCT do not have such machinery. State Govt. may like to check whether it made any attempt to check inflow of such thin plastic bags in to NCT.
  4. From the legal angle, it was mentioned that there are four Writ Petitions & 3 SLPs filed with the Supreme Court of India, which are now on the priority list (under PIL category at Sr. No. 1,) and Court is likely to commence hearing soon. Court has to take a view about the competence of state govt. for framing rules under Environment Protection Act 1986 which empowers Central Govt. only to frame any rule. Reference was also made to the Kerala High Court judgment dated 11/03/2011, whereby court observed that state governments are bound to follow the rules framed by the Central Govt. i.e. notification dated 04/02/2011 of MoEF’s – Plastic Waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2011.
  5. It was further pointed out that if the notification, banning manufacture of plastic carry bags in NCT, is issued prior to Supreme Court of India’s verdict, it would do a great harm to the affected units as they cannot restart their operation if the Supreme Court of India’s verdict went against the state government’s competence. Once closed, apart from suffering huge losses the unit will find it very difficult to recover their dues from the market besides its adverse impact on the livelihood of the workers engaged by the manufacturing units.
  6. There are about more than 10,000 workers engaged in this activity under organized sector and the number is many times more in the unorganized sector. The ban on manufacturing plastic carry bags, if imposed, will not only force these workers to be laid off but also affects lacs of persons indirectly linked in this chain. This will create a total havoc.
  7. It was also stated that the concerned manufacturing industry was quite willing to assist the state govt. in tackling the problem of environmental clutter/litter in mutual interest. In all fairness, the slogan of the state govt. all through should have been “Do not litter” rather than the negative slogan “Say no to plastic bags”. This view point gave a total negative outlook in the eyes of general public. Wherever a person goes in the metropolis, especially in the hospital, the patient is laced with plastic and from capsules to injections and glucose bottle, everything is plastic. Therefore, the ordinary men can hardly understand why say no to plastic bags when the raw material is the same..

Our association, along with others, have made a humble beginning and a small experiment has been made in the Connaught Place & Pragati Maidan area, attempting to make it a litter free zone. A copy of the recent news item, which appeared in the daily Dainik Jagran, is enclosed for reference. Successful attempts have been made in several areas also. If your Committee can give us some more time, say about 10 days, we can give a detailed action plan for whole of Delhi which could be executed with the help from the state government. Regarding this kindly confirm so that we can prepare and submit the same to you.

Considering all above aspects, we request you once again to either follow the Central Govt. notification or wait for the verdict of Supreme Court of India which would settle the matter once for all. This will save the manufacturing industry and thousands of workers to be laid off. After having been doubled the thickness to 40 microns, a breather should be given to the industry and careful monitoring of the after effects be done.

Inadequate replies to RTI queries by concerned PIOs

Suggestion given to Chief Information Commissioner

Association has made a specific suggestion to Chief Information Commissioner for imposition of penalty / sanction on PIO’s giving inadequate replies to RTI queries. Contents of association’s letter No. AIPIA/8/2011-12 dated 12th January 2012 are printed below:

“We had in the past noted that Central Information Commission was promptly responding to Second Appeal, whenever filed under RTI. Since certain Second Appeals filed by this Association, as far back as September 2011, did not get the usual response from Central Information Commission. On contacting the Dy. Registrar, it is learnt that due to spate of Second Appeals received by the Commission, our aforesaid cases may get a response within 5 – 6 months of filing the appeal.

In this connection, we wish to point out that occasion to file Second Appeal arises basically due to inadequate/improper replies to RTI queries by the concerned PIOs. In order that specific and adequate response is given by the concerned PIOs, Central Information Commission may like to direct PIOs, in this regard, to give to the point/adequate replies thus eliminating any need for First or Second Appeal. If proper replies are not given, some kind of penalty/sanction could be imposed on concerned PIOs, so that there was systematized pressure on them to be specific in reply to the question raised.

We do hope our above suggestion would be considered in the overall interest.”

Association interacts with Hon’ble Chief Minister (holding charge of Finance Dept.), Govt. of NCT of Delhi

A delegation of AIPIA met the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Govt. of NCT on 3/1/2012 when the subject issues were discussed and specific suggestion for Dept. of Trade & Taxes for constituting a Public Grievance Committee, on the pattern of Central Excise Dept.. Gist of the interaction was recorded vide association’s letter No. AIPIA/DVAT/2011-12 dated 9th January 2012 contents are printed below for the information:

“We thank you very much for your graciousness in sparing few minutes of time when a delegation of this association met you at your residence on 3rd January 2012 at 10.20 AM. A memorandum, detailing two issues of concern vis.,
1. Smooth issue of C-Form to dealers, & 2. Suo moto payment of interest on delayed refund & expeditious refund wherever due, was handed over to you. A copy of the same is enclosed.

Dept. of Trade & Taxes should constitute Public Grievances & Advisory Committee (on the pattern of Central Excise Dept.)

It was mentioned on behalf of AIPIA that if the Dept. of Trade & Taxes constitutes a Public Grievance Committee & a Regional Advisory Committee, (as constituted by Central Excise Dept.) it would help all concern.

We may inform that PGC of Central Excise has members from different trade associations and meets once in two month. Agenda points are sought from members and issues raised get discussed in the meeting for satisfactory resolution. Regional advisory Committee consists of representatives of various trade associations, including All India level associations, and meets once in a quarter for discussing policy related issues, if any.

Over a period, it has been seen that with the functioning of the above Committees, there are hardly any grievances that come up as efficiency of the Dept. has improved due to the frequent interactions.

You had appreciated our suggestion. We shall be glad if necessary directions are issued to Commissioner – DVAT for constituting Public Grievance Committee & Advisory Committee.”

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Finalization of final notification imposing ban on manufacture of plastic carry bags in NCT

LG requested to keep the finalization of notification in abeyance

Vide letter No. AIPIA/16/2011-12 dated 5th January 2012, addressed to Hon’ble Lt. Governor (contents reproduced below) AIPIA has suggested that finalization of the above notification should be kept in abeyance till the final judgment of Supreme Court of India in the pending cases:

“Kindly call for our following letters on the subject:-
1. Letter even number dated 16th December 2011.
2. Letter even number dated 3rd January 2012.

(A copy of the same, along with enclosures, are enclosed for ready reference.)

We also enclose a copy of technical paper framed by Indian Centre for Plastic in the Environment, which gives a comparative picture of plastic carry bags vis-a-vis substitute like paper & cloth bag, and conclude that there is no environment friendly substitute to plastic carry bags considering their merits in terms of life cycle analysis etc.

We shall be extremely grateful if you could kindly spare few minutes of your precious time on any date & time convenient to you, so that we could call on you accordingly.

We shall await a response from your office intimating your convenience.”

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POINTS DISCUSSED DURING THE MONTHLY MEETING OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (2011-13) HELD ON 10/01/2012

1. Report on hearing by Supreme Court of India on 9/01/2012 regarding Special Application filed by AIPIA

Shri Ravi Kr. Aggarwal, Chairman- Env. Committee – AIPIA informed that the IA filed by the association was not accepted by the court who directed that since there was a new cause of action , a fresh writ could be filed.

President enquired as to whether a fresh writ could be filed by the other association who had filed writ / SLPs? It was clarified by the Chairman that since the IA was filed by AIPIA, writ could also be filed only by AIPIA.

Hony. Treasurer wanted that approval of the Committee should be given for further expected expenditure in this regard.. President mentioned that Shri Aggarwal would arrange funds from the earlier collection promised during the plastic bag manufacturers’ meeting in November 2011. On a query, it was informed by Shri Aggarwal that an amount of Rs.40 lac or so stood collected at Mumbai. Payment to the senior advocates, engaged for case, are made direct to them. A total expenditure of about a crores to be involved when the main petition will come for hearing in Supreme Court within 8-10 weeks.

2. Appraise members about further development in EXPO GUIDE matter, including approval for likely legal expenses:

Shri Ravi Kr. Aggarwal mentioned that relevant papers were given to our counsel Shri Kundan Kumar Mishra, who would give a legal notice advising that EXPO GUIDE people should not harass the association . In any case, it was clarified that association have no liability and the subject matter may be treated as closed.

3. To review availability position of raw material and pricing aspect:

It was noted by members that RIL had increased prices of various grades of polymers by Rs.2 per kg on 05/01/2012. President mentioned that IOC dropped prices by Rs.2 per kg as on 2/1/2012 and when Haldia & Gail did not reduced the prices whereas RIL did.. However IOC jacked up the prices by Rs.2/- per kg as on 5/1/2012 & RIL followed soon.

In an application under RTI has been filed by this association, asking IOCL to give reason for reduction and then increase in short period as of 2 – 5/01/2012, also indicating quantity sold by their four zones. during this period.

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