Niti Aayog Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amitabh Kant has made a strong case for using at least 25 per cent recycled metals, plastic and paper in India's large infrastructure projects to promote secondary producers across India. This would help in enhancing resource efficiency and reducing raw material cost without compromising on project quality.
"We will urge the government to make 25 per cent use of recycled products such as metals, plastics and paper in large infrastructure projects to promote secondary producers across India," Kant said while speaking at a webinar organised by Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI) on Wednesday.
Niti Aayog CEO said that using recycled products to the extent of 25 per cent may reduce raw material cost of the project by nearly 10-15 per cent.
At present, there is limited scope for secondary producers in big projects due to the availability of primary products, that too at similar price.
Kant also pitched for setting up a nodal ministry for the material recycling industry for better regulation and growth. The industry comprises metal, plastic, paper, tyre and e-waste recycling.
"The nodal ministry to govern the material recycling industry should not be a regulatory ministry, as the policy is critical to push the growth and prospects of the industry," he said
"It being a developmental work, the department of industrial policy and promotion would be better placed to have this," he added.
He also stressed on the need for policy support, saying that the recycling industry needs a separate model ministry which should not be regulatory but should be developmental. "The industry does not get proper attention due to the absence of a parent ministry. Since recycling is a wealth creator, we will extend all possible support from various ministries to the betterment of the industry in India," he said.
Kant said there is also a need to constitute designated material recycling zones on the outskirts of each city and this should be compulsory.
Niti Aayog will consult with the government on these issues and also take action to transform this unorganised sector into an organised one with the required regulatory framework, he added.
MRAI President Sanjay Mehta pitched for including the industry under the 'Essential Commodities' list, like in many developed nations.
The material recycling industry has been grappling with logistics and labour constraints in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, Mehta added.