NITI Aayog, the Centre’s premier
think tank, has mooted incentives
and viability gap funding for eco-labelled
products as part of the government’s green procurement policies to
substantially improve resource efficiency in the country.
Resource efficiency or resource productivity is
the ratio between a given benefit or result and the natural resource required
“Incentives should be provided through tax
benefits for eco-labelled products to encourage consumers to purchase such
products,” the Aayog has said in a strategy paper on resource efficiency
prepared under the supervision of its principal advisor Ratan P Watal. “A
comprehensive and well-designed green procurement policy(GPP) can be a key
instrument to promote resource efficiency in the economy.”
The Aayog has sought suggestions on the policy paper,
following which it will finalise the green procurement policy.
As part of the action plan to achieve resource
efficiency, the Aayog has laid out a detailed short-term and medium-term action
plan spread over the next five years. “Set up an inter-departmental committee,
assisted by task force of experts, to guide policy and programme actions by
August 2017. Prepare a pilot project to showcase the development of indictors,
data and analysis,” the policy paper suggested by way of short-term measures.
For the medium-term, the Aayog has laid emphasis
on promotion, regulation and institutional development as the key areas to work
“Focusing on designing cross-cutting policy
instruments such as sustainable public procurement, standards, eco-labelling
and certification for promoting resource efficiency in the use of critical
materials in the hotspot sectors (key industrial and strategic sectors) of the
economy is the key,” the policy paper said.
It further said, “Establishing an enabling
setting for viability gap funding for RE interventions in a competitive manner
with an objective to encourage players to come to the market, build up scale,
upgrade technology, and enabling competition in the longer run is therefore an
Laying the roadmap for achieving resource
efficiency, the Aayog has proposed that a start be made with a small range of
products, for which the market is already reasonably well-established, followed
by a gradual expansion as the programme matures.
There is a global commitment to achieving
resource efficiency in order to establish sustainable consumption and
production patterns. It is also a priority for the government and is reflected
in various policies and programme announcements such as Make in India, Zero Effect-Zero
Defect Scheme, Smart Cities, Swachh Bharat and Ganga Rejuvenation Mission.
India is rich in primary materials. Currently,
about 97% of all materials, including all abiotic and non-renewable materials consumed in the
country, are extracted domestically. The extraction of primary raw materials
increased about 420% between 1970 and 2010, lower than the Asian average but
higher than the global average.