India generates around 2 million tonnes of e-waste annually and ranks fifth among e-waste producing countries, as per Global E-waste Monitor 2017
The Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, said that the government is keeping a constant vigil to check the illegal import of e-waste into India and action will be taken in accordance with the law.
“As per the information provided by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC), Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, there were a total 29 cases of illegal import of e-waste detected across the country in the last 3 years including current years,” the minister said in Lok Sabha on Monday.
He said that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) under CBIC keep constant vigil to check the illegal import of e-waste into India and take action in accordance with law whenever such contraventions are noticed
The import and export of hazardous and other wastes are regulated under the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 the government had banned the import of e-waste in the country by listing e-waste in the Schedule VI of the said rules.
“The management of e-waste in the Country is regulated under the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016. Under the said Rules, the responsibility of disposal of e-waste in a scientific and environmentally sound manner has been assigned to Producers of notified Electrical & Electronic Equipment (EEE) as listed in Schedule – I of the said rules under the principle of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)” the minister said.
India is one of the biggest producers of e-waste in the world. The Global E-waste Monitor 2017, published by the United Nations University, states that India generates about 2 million tonnes of e-waste annually and ranks fifth among e-waste producing countries, after the US, China, Japan, and Germany. However, there is no government data on e-waste generated in the country.
According to CPCB, there are 214 authorised recyclers/dismantlers in India. In 2016-17, they treated only 0.036 million tonnes of India’s 2 million tonnes of e-waste. According to many studies, about 95 per cent of India’s e-waste is recycled in the informal sector and in a crude manner.
The compliance monitoring is done through an Action Plan developed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for enforcement of the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016 in the country.
The Minister informed that the major action points include identification of Non-EPR Authorization producers, State/UT wise inventorization of e-waste, verification of system provided by producers for e-waste channelization, verification of facilities of dismantlers/ recyclers, drives for checking informal activities, formulation of State Level Committee for monitoring implementation of rules and mass awareness activities etc.
“Under the action plan, monitoring and compliance of producers are ensured through State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees. Further, under the existing rules, provisions are in place for action against the companies who are violating the said rules” he said.