Govt should review Ecomark scheme: CAG

Govt should review Ecomark scheme: CAG

New Delhi: Noting the dismal response to the 20-year-old Ecomark scheme under which products are classified as eco-friendly, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has asked the government to review it so that it is more receptive to manufactures.

Of the 17 product categories marked as ‘green’, only 15 firms have obtained licences under three categories in the country.

The CAG has suggested inclusion of more products and monitoring adherence to environmental standards for classifying products as environmentally-friendly.

“The (environment) ministry should also carry out environmental impact studies of such products," said the CAG in its recent report titled, “Waste Management in India."

It compared its progress to similar schemes floated in countries like Japan, Norway and Iceland besides Denmark where a large number of manufacturers have chosen environment friendly products.

“Japan’s Eco Mark which was introduced in 1989 as a seal of programme that aims to spread information on the environment effects of products and to encourage consumers to choose environment friendly products has been awarded to 5,176 items under 64 product categories," the report said.

Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark under their “The Nordic Swan" plan introduced in 1989 have developed 60 product categorised and awarded the label to over 1,200 products.

Similarly, Taiwan under its Green Mark Programme has 41 product categories with 451 products already awarded the eco-label.

However, in India, the government admitted that the Ecomark products were not being widely used.