Mumbai: While opposing the plastic ban in the State, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray on Tuesday alleged that plastic ban is a trick to extort money from the traders for election funds. A ban on single-use plastic items came into effect in the State from June 23.
On Monday, Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam slammed Raj Thackeray for opposing the plastic ban. Hence, to clear MNS’s stand over the ban, Thackeray held a press conference at his residence. Speaking to reporters, Thackeray also objected to the exemption for certain plastic items such as packing material for ready-to-eat food items. “Why is there discrimination in implementing the ban, big companies exempted and what about small traders,” he asked.
“The government is trying to raise funds for upcoming elections through the plastic ban,” he said.
The ban has been imposed three days ago and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is quite on the issue. “Why is he keeping mum on the issue,” Thackeray asked. “Plastic is an essential part of our life and so the ban is not advisable as all kinds of plastic materials are not hazardous. Also, there are not enough alternatives to plastic. The government has to find the alternatives before imposing the ban,” Thackeray said, demanding a withdrawal of the ban.
“I am sure that the government wants to raise funds through the plastic ban (by imposing fines) and the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is only used for taxing people. On the contrary, what happened about the cleaning of rivers? The government has failed and is imposing fines on the common people,” he said.
“The government should function properly first and then collect fines from people. There are not even enough garbage bins in our cities,” he said. “The civic bodies are not collecting the garbage properly, there is no proper system to dispose of the garbage,” he said.
“Plastic is a global problem. Did the government study how other countries are tackling the issue,” he asked. “If the government agencies are going to fine the common man, then I am with the common man and will oppose the plastic ban,” he said.
While talking about Ravindra Marathe of Bank of Maharashtra, Thackeray said that Marathe was chief of the committee appointed to scrutinise the farmers’ loan waiver scheme where he submitted an adverse report and pointed how and why the scheme failed. As revenge, the government initiated action against Marathe. If Marathe can face action, then why not Amit Shah,” he asked.
‘If the government is fair, then they should take action against Chanda Kochar of ICICI Bank,” he said.