Policy to scrap old, polluting and fuel-guzzling vehicles in Cabinet soon
New Delhi, Feb 9
The Centre’s long-delayed policy of scrapping old, polluting and fuel-guzzling vehicles in an attempt to reduce pollution and road congestion has at last been sent to the Cabinet Secretariat to be put up before the Cabinet for its approval, two senior Government officials said.
The policy was one among a slew of reforms proposed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in August last year in a bid to help the automobile sector overcome a slump in sales. Sitharaman proposed lifting a ban on the purchase of new vehicles for replacing old vehicles used by Government Departments.
Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Friday said the policy had finally been cleared by his Ministry.
The Ministry in October 2019 released a draft note on the vehicle scrapping policy, which proposed norms for companies to set up and operate scrapping facilities. The policy also said vehicles whose registration had not been renewed; or are damaged, impounded or abandoned can be scrapped.
“We have finalized from our end and sent it (scrapping policy) to the Cabinet Secretariat for the Union Cabinet’s approval,” a senior official with the Road Transport and Highways Ministry said on condition of anonymity.
Duplication of clauses proposed in similar policies by other Ministries like the Steel Ministry had to be removed for the policy to go through, the official said..
“There are three separate policies being discussed; one is for setting up of scrappage centres by the Ministry of Steel, the other is our Ministry’s vehicle scrappage policy and the third is for setting up an Automated Vehicle Scrappage Facility (AVSF),” the official said.
The Ministry of Steel in 2019 had notified the Steel Scrap Recycling Policy (SSRP) to provide a framework to facilitate and promote the establishment of metal scrapping centres in India.
The policy framework provides standard guidelines for collection, dismantling and scrapping of automobiles in organised, and environmentally-safe conditions.
“The policy provides a framework to facilitate and promote establishment of metal scrapping centres in India for scientific processing and recycling of ferrous scrap generated from various sources and a variety of products,” Minister of Steel Dharmendra Pradhan said in Parliament last year.
It prescribes guidelines for setting up and spells out the responsibilities of dismantling centres and scrap processing centre, the roles of aggregators and responsibilities of the Government, manufacturer and owner.
“The AVSF policy had been set to the Law Ministry for being vetted. There were concerns and deliberations over Steel Ministry’s policy and ours during high-level inter-Ministerial meetings and those issues have been resolved,” the second official said. AVSF is short for Authorised Vehicle Scrapping Facility.