‘Violation of Green Norms Should Attract Stiff Fine, Even Jail’

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NEW DELHI: Environment and Forests Minister Jayanthi Natarajan today pitched for harsh penalty, even imprisonment, for violation of environmental guidelines by corporates.

Speaking at a national convention on environment, she said the present maximum penalty of Rs 1 lakh for violation of green norms by corporates is “pathetic” and “ridiculous”.

“I think, the penalty should be both imprisonment as well as financial penalty. Certainly, I believe, environmental violation should be taken very seriously,” she told reporters on the sidelines.

“We are reviewing it (the maximum penalty imposed on the corporates) and I believe it was absolutely pathetic to have Rs 1 lakh as a penalty for violating environmental norms. So, I would like to really make it a very stiff penalty, but I would not quantify now,” Natarajan said.

She said discussion within ministries were going on on the issue and the proposal warrants amending the existing Act.

“It also needs clearance of the Cabinet and later from Parliament,” Natarajan added.

However, when asked if the government would incentivise corporates which comply with the environmental norms, she said, “The fact is, it (complying with environmental norms is a duty of every citizen”.

(Agencies)

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