08/07/2016 9:26 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST

Modi Govt Is Easing Up On Polluters, And Its Rules Are Copy-Pasted From The U.S. Policy

Ajay Verma / Reuters
A labourer drinks water as smokes rise from a chimney of a brick factory at Togga village on the outskirts of the northern Indian city of Chandigarh December 6, 2009. India set a goal on Thursday for slowing the growth of its greenhouse gas emissions, the last major economy to offer a climate target four days before the start of U.N. talks on combating global warming. REUTERS/Ajay Verma (INDIA ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY) FOR BEST QUALITY IMAGE: ALSO SEE GF2E63C14JP01

The Modi government has been working on an Environment Supplement Plan (ESP), which allows those who did not seek environmental clearance before starting their projects to continue working, and then "remediate the damage caused or likely to be caused."

Not only does this give polluters a way out after they failed to seek approval, which is punishable by at least one-and-a-half years in jail under existing laws, The Indian Express reported today that almost the entirety of India's Environment Supplement Plan has been lifted from the U.S. Supplemental Environmental Projects Policy.

Around 2,900 words of the 3,850-word draft of the SEP is lifted from the U.S. document, the newspaper reported today.

Denying that the Environment Ministry has copied the U.S. policy, Joint Secretary Manoj Kumar Singh said that idea of ESP was "borrowed" from the U.S., but the language was not copied.

"We borrowed the idea from the US. Most Western countries follow this practice. But the language of our draft is different. Nothing was copied,” he told The Indian Express.

The newspaper report today carried the paragraphs directly from the U.S. policy.

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