Mumbai: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray today alleged that plastic ban is a “tool” to raise funds ahead of elections, and demanded its withdrawal. A ban on single-use plastic items came into effect in Maharashtra on June 23. Speaking to reporters here, Thackeray also objected to an exemption for certain plastic items such as packing material for ready-to-eat food items.
“The ban is a tool, being used to raise funds ahead of elections. Why exemption is given for certain plastic items such as packing material for ready-to-eat foods?” he asked.
“That chief minister is silent over the issue is enough to raise a doubt whether the decision to impose the ban was taken by one department or by the government,” Thackeray said, without naming any minister.
The ban was pushed by environment minister Ramdas Kadam, who belongs to the Shiv Sena, Raj Thackeray’s former party.
“The ban is not advisable as all kinds of plastic materials are not hazardous. There are no enough alternatives to plastic,” the MNS chief said, demanding a withdrawal of the ban.
“It seems the government wants to raise funds through the plastic ban (by imposing fines). The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is only used for taxing people,” he said.
“The government should function properly first and then collect fine from people. There are not even enough garbage bins in our cities,” he said.