Govt wants different pollution inspection regimes for different industries

Govt asked states to put in place automated systems to deal with environmental and pollution-related approvals


At present, 12 states differentiate environmental inspection requirements by category of industry. The report batted for adoption of this system across the board. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
At present, 12 states differentiate environmental inspection requirements by category of industry. The report batted for adoption of this system across the board. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

New Delhi: The central government’s report on reforms for ease of business has recommended different inspection regimes for different categories of polluting industries. It has also asked states to put in place automated systems to deal with environmental and pollution-related approvals required for setting up industries.

The department of industrial policy and promotion’s (DIPP) report, ‘Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms’, which was released on Monday, also said that for green industries (less polluting industries), “states can do away with mandatory inspections of industries and replace them with need-based inspections which are only invoked in specific complaints”.

“The simplest approach to reducing the regulatory burden on business from environmental procedures and licensing is to introduce different inspection regimes for different categories of pollution,” said the report, which was prepared in collaboration with World Bank and consulting firm KPMG.

At present, 12 states differentiate environmental inspection requirements by category of industry. The report batted for adoption of this system across the board.

It further said that an advanced approach for green industries would be to collate a list of industry types where pollution control board clearances are eradicated altogether.

It sought separate environmental inspection systems for red (highly polluting) and amber industries (moderately polluting), with less frequent inspections for amber and more frequent inspections for red industries.

The report asked for a “clear notification” outlining the process for each type of industry and the frequency of inspections for both amber and red industries.

With the Union environment ministry holding states responsible for delaying green clearances, the report asked states to implement more advanced automated solutions to deal with environmental and pollution-related applications and approvals.

“These services can be offered through the single window system as well, but should be implemented for all types of industries,” the report said.

It also called for having an added feature that assists in increasing access to information to provide a mechanism that allows entrepreneurs to calculate the fees required for their specific industry.

“The fee calculator should integrate all environmental mechanisms, and should be accessible without logging in to the system. Finally, the application system should also be integrated with a payment gateway to allow applicants to pay immediately upon submission of the application,” said the report.

The system is not just for applications, but is also used by the pollution control board to issue approvals, assign inspectors where necessary, and capture all related data and inspection reports as required.

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