Industries Re-Categorised on Pollution Index by Ministry of Environment

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With an aim to make it easy to do business in India Environment Ministry released new categories of industries based on their pollution load.

Minister of State of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Mr. Prakash Javadekar said that, "The new category of White industries which is practically non-polluting will not require Environmental Clearance (EC) and Consent and will help in getting finance from lending institutions. The exercise of Re-categorisation was being carried out for last one year. This is a landmark decision to give a fair picture of the industries."


The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has developed the criteria of categorisation of industrial sectors based on the Pollution Index which is a function of the emissions (air pollutants), effluents (water pollutants), hazardous wastes generated and consumption of resources.

References used for categorisation:

For this purpose the references are taken from the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess (Amendment) Act, 2003, Standards so far prescribed for various pollutants under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and Doon Valley Notification, 1989 issued by MoEFCC. The Pollution Index PI of any industrial sector is a number from 0 to 100 and the increasing value of PI denotes the increasing degree of pollution load from the industrial sector.

Based on the series of brain storming sessions among CPCB, SPCBs and MoEFCC, the following criteria on 'Range of Pollution Index 'for the purpose of categorisation of industrial sectors is finalised.

  1. Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score of 60 and above - Red category
  2. Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score of 41 to 59 - Orange category
  3. Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score of 21 to 40 - Green category
  4. Industrial Sectors having Pollution Index score including and up to 20 - White category 

The salient features of the 'Re-categorisation' are as follows:

  1. Due importance has been given to relative pollution potential of the industrial sectors based on scientific criteria. Further, wherever possible, splitting of the industrial sectors is also considered based on the use of raw materials, manufacturing process adopted and in-turn pollutants expected to be generated.
  2. The Red category of industrial sectors would be 60.
  3. The Orange category of industrial sectors would be 83.
  4. The Green category of industrial sectors would be 63.
  5. Newly-introduced White category contains 36 industrial sectors which are practically non-polluting.
  6. There shall be no necessity of obtaining the "Consent to Operate'' for White category of industries. An intimation to concerned SPCB or PCC shall suffice.
  7. No Red category of industries shall normally be permitted in the ecologically fragile area or protected area.

White category industries:

The newly introduced White category of industries pertains to those industrial sectors which are practically non-polluting, such as Biscuit trays etc. from rolled PVC sheet (using automatic vacuum forming machines), Cotton and woollen hosiers making (Dry process only without any dying/washing operation), Electric lamp (bulb) and CFL manufacturing by assembling only, Scientific and mathematical instrument manufacturing, Solar power generation through photovoltaic cell, wind power and mini hydel power (less than 25 MW).

Objectives of categorisation are:

The purpose of the categorisation is to ensure that the industry is established in a manner which is consistent with the environmental objectives. The new criteria will prompt industrial sectors willing to adopt cleaner technologies, ultimately resulting in generation of fewer pollutants.

Another feature of the new categorisation system lies in facilitating self-assessment by industries as the subjectivity of earlier assessment has been eliminated. This 'Re-categorisation' is a part of the efforts, policies and objective of present government to create a clean and transparent working environment in the country and promote the Ease of Doing Business.

Other efforts by the MoEFCC:

Other similar efforts by the Ministry include installation of Continuous Online Emissions/ Effluent Monitoring Systems in the polluting industries, Revisiting the CEPI (Comprehensive Environment Pollution Index) concept for assessment of polluted industrial clusters, revision of existing industrial emission or effluent discharge standards, initiation of special drive on pollution control activities in Ganga River basin and many more in the coming days.

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