Pollution tax

ALARMED by the increasing level of environmental pollution in the country, and the failure of existing organisations in tackling the problem, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment has suggested levying pollution tax and shifting polluting smallscale units out of residential areas to industrial sectors.

The 42-member committee, headed by Syed Sibtey Rizvy, has called for the introduction of economic instruments into environmental administration. The committee, which submitted its report to the Rajya Sabha on March 14, favoured hefty and escalating effluent charges linked to levels of pollution to ensure that in the long run, pollution control devices pay off.

In the committee's opinion, the state pollution control boards should maintain lists of defaulting industries and the extent of damage they cause, and supply the information to the public as and when needed. This would help build public pressure on the offending industries.