Environment Ministry amends Environment Impact Assessment notification to ramp up production of bulk drugs
The Environment ministry has re-categorised all projects in respect of bulk drugs that were manufactured to address various ailments from the existing ‘A’ category to ‘B2’ category.
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change made an amendment to the Environment Impact Assessment(EIA) Notification 2006 to ramp up availability and production of various drugs. The Ministry amended the notification on March 27, 2020.
Under the amendment, the ministry has re-categorised all projects and activities in respect of bulk drugs and intermediates that were manufactured to address various ailments from the existing ‘A’ category to ‘B2’ category.
The main objective behind introducing the amendment is to address the unprecedented situation arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic and increase the availability of various drugs.
• The projects that fall under Category 'A' require mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment that includes collection of baseline data and public consultations, while the projects falling under the ‘B2’ category are exempted of the assessment.
• The re-categorization of the proposals has been done to facilitate decentralization of appraisal to state Level, in order to fast track the process.
• This step will help in increasing the availability of the important medicines and drugs in the country within a short span of time.
• The proposals received up to September 2020 will re-categorised under the amendment. The states have been issued advisories to expeditiously process such proposals.
The Environment Ministry has advised the states to use digital technology such as video conference to ensure expeditious disposal of the proposals within the given time-line. Given the current circumstances, the appraisal of proposals may not be possible through physical meetings.
Over 100 proposals have been received under this category within just a matter of two weeks. The proposals are currently at different levels of decision making by the concerned regulatory authorities in the states.