Traders in Kerala will go on an indefinite strike if fines are imposed on defaulters after the state enforces plastic ban, said members of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES), reports the Times of India. The KVVES is a state-wide group of traders and merchants.
The Kerala government had earlier announced its decision to ban the manufacture, sale and storage of plastic products across the state effective from January 1, 2020. The state has also given more authority to the Pollution Control Board by laying down heavy fines on those found violating the plastic ban.
But the implementation of the plastic ban, without finding viable alternatives, would hurt small scale traders, said KVVES state president T Nazirudheen, addressing the media, after an executive meeting of the association in Kozhikode.
“We will go on indefinite shutdown, the moment the government takes action against shopkeepers by imposing fine or seizing or destroying the existing stock. The government has given exemptions to large players like Milma and corporates,” TOI quotes Nazirudheen as saying.
He added that the traders will not participate in the national general strike, called by traders’ unions across India, on January 8, against the anti-worker, anti-people and anti-national policies of the Modi government.
The state’s decision to implement the plastic ban is based on the recommendations of an expert technical committee. Two state-owned enterprises, MILMA and Kerala State Beverages Corporation, have been exempted. Plastics manufactured for export, in the healthcare industry, and materials made from compostable plastics (labelled ISO or ISO 17088: 2008) have also been exempted from the ban.
Plastic manufacturers, wholesalers and small sellers who are found violating the law can be fined Rs 10,000 for their first offence. They would be fined Rs 25,000 if found violating the ban the second time. Failure to comply with the law for the third time would result in a fine of Rs 50,000 and cancellation of their work permit.
Meanwhile, the plastic ban has also affected the advertisement and flex printing businesses, reports The Hindu. The ban also means that PVC flex materials cannot be used anymore. Alternatives such as cloth or fabrics are being experimented.