Maharashtra's Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray today alleged that plastic ban is a "tool" to raise funds ahead of elections, and demanded its withdrawal. A ban on single-use plastic items came into effect in Maharashtra on 23rd June.
Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Mr Thackeray also objected to the exemption of certain plastic items such as packing material for ready-to-eat food items.
"The ban is a tool, being used to raise funds ahead of elections. Why exemption is given for certain plastic items such as packing material for ready-to-eat foods?" he asked.
"That the chief minister is silent over the issue is enough to raise a doubt whether the decision to impose the ban was taken by one department or the government," Mr Thackeray said, without naming any minister.
The ban was pushed by environment minister Mr Ramdas Kadam, who belongs to the Shiv Sena, Mr Raj Thackeray's former party.
"It seems the government wants to raise funds through the plastic ban (by imposing fines). the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is only used for taxing people," he said.
"The government should function properly first and then collect fine from people. There are not even enough garbage bins in our cities," he said.
A report on Monday claimed that the state-wide plastic ban, including carry-bags and thermocol by the Devendra Fadanvis government, will result in loss of up to Rs. 15,000 crore and nearly 3 lakh job, according to the plastic manufacturing industry.
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