A draft of India’s National Action Plan for Chemicals could be published for public comment in the first quarter of 2019, delegates at Regulatory Summit Asia 2018 in Singapore heard last week.
Mr Tavinder Sidhu, a partner in law firm MV Kini and an advocate to India’s Supreme Court, said a member of the National Coordination Committee, which oversees the plan, told him he was optimistic a public draft would be published around March.
Delays on legislative reform stretch as far back as 2012. The committee was previously expected to report in September 2017.
The National Action Plan should, in effect, create a policy framework. It will review existing legislation and set out measures to consolidate and clarify India’s chemicals laws. There is an "immediate need" for this, Mr Sidhu says.
The most important dimension, however, is to move forward with the management of hazardous chemicals, he says. The plan is expected to include "preparations" for new Hazardous Chemical Management Rules which will set classification, labelling and packaging guidelines in line with GHS.
A draft law, the 2011 Hazardous Substance (Classification, Packaging and Labelling) Rules, was published in 2011 but has not progressed since.
The action plan will also:
- propose short and long-term phasing out of chemicals to address health and environmental concerns;
- produce considerations for preparing a REACH-like database; and
- address required infrastructure for chemical testing.
Mr Sidhu also noted the Indian government’s September announcement of an "integrated" petrochemicals and chemicals policy to help growth. This will be released in "the current financial year", the government said.
India does not have a national inventory of existing chemicals.
More details available on CW+AsiaHub