Buying, using plastic may attract 5% tax

H D Kumaraswamy

The state government is considering imposing a 4%-5% tax on the purchase, usage and improper disposal of plastic, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has said. 

Taking note of the increasing use of plastic in Karnataka despite a ban being in place, he stressed the need for a crackdown. He was addressing schoolchildren, teachers, NCC cadets, environmentalists, conservationists and officials of the Forest Department and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board at an event to mark the World Environment Day. 

Kumaraswamy, who arrived an hour late, explained that he had been planting saplings and watering them. Children sitting in the claustrophobic T Chowdiah Memorial Hall in Vyalikaval seemed unsettled. Eight individuals and seven schools were given awards for their contribution to the environment. 

Talking about how garments are still wrapped in plastic bags, Kumaraswamy called for promoting bags made of coir and husks that will provide employment to villagers. Another way is to make plastic expensive so as to deter people from using it, he said. 

He took forest and KSPCB officials to task, saying their claims of planting crores of saplings have remained on paper and that nothing was visible on the ground. He didn’t spare the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) either and said it had failed to provide adequate afforestation to compensate for the cutting down of so many heritage and full-grown trees.

In his opinion, the cutting down of trees has increased Bengaluru’s temperature. He urged children to plant saplings and take care of them. 

The chief minister also pulled up civic authorities for allowing lakes to become landfill sites and not cracking down on encroachers.

The government will not tolerate environmental degradation any more, he added. 

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Buying, using plastic may attract 5% tax

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