New Delhi: Mobile operators have demanded suspension of electronic waste rules of 2016 that seek to cover manufacturing and sales details of the past 10 years, saying the retrospective application is in violation of the Constitution and has potential to throttle industry growth.
"Retrospective and selective application is bad in law and prima facie violation of Article 19(1)(g) and Article 14 of the Constitution of India. The industry is being asked to cover manufacturing and sales going back to as much as 10 years," industry body Indian Cellular Association of India said in a letter to MeitY.
Electronic companies, including mobile phone players, are required to provide details of manufacturing and sales in the last 10 years as mandated by the E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016.
"E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016, makes a mockery of the government's tremendous resolve to enhance ease of doing business. The rules need to be put in abeyance, and reconsideration and re-evaluation need to be done," the letter suggested.
As of now, there are close to 42 mobile manufacturing units in India, including those of Samsung, Xiaomi, Intex, Huawei and the like. The joint taskforce on mobile manufacturing, under the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), has set a handset production target of 500 million by 2019 and export target of 120 million by 2019-20.
Efforts are on to take local production to 290 million handsets in 2017-18, from 175 million in 2016-17.
The lobby group said Indian mobile manufacturing and trade environment is highly fragmented with a massive informal sector presence. The trade is carried out through numerous distributors and over 250,000 retail shops and unlike the West, mobile phones are not bundled with services.
"Tremendous momentum that has been witnessed in the mobile phone and component industry can get scuttled if the environment ministry does not mend its ways. In the face of very severe opposition from all the sections of the industry and trade, these impractical rules were announced in March 2016," the letter said.
Under the e-waste rules, it is the responsibility of any producer of electrical or electronic equipment for channelisation of e-waste to ensure environmentally sound management of such waste for protection of environment and overall well-being of people.
ICA said it would like to reiterate that the industry would like to work along with the government to bring to table all environmentally conscious countries, but it is vital not to proceed with the e-waste rules in their present form....