SIAM webinar on Vehicle Scrappage Policy

In order to deliberate on auto industry’s goals towards ELV recycling, circular economy and sustainable mobility, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on August 18 organised a virtual webinar on Vehicle Scrappage Policy 2021: Its Features and Implementation Planning.

The webinar saw industry stalwarts and experts discussing the policy framework, best practices in material recycling, extended producers responsibility and models related to environmentally sound management of ELV recycling including establishing the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders to devise the roadmap of transitioning to a circular economy.

In his welcome address, Mr Prashant K Banerjee, Executive Director, SIAM, said, “The Vehicle Scrappage Policy launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister is a welcome proposal for all the stakeholders for the modernisation of fleet. We are pleased that the scrappage policy will define India’s resource efficiency and adoption of circular economy and also help achieve energy security, road safety, pollution mitigation, and facilitate secondary material usage in the system.”

Mr Shrikant Deshmukh, Chairman, SIAM Recycling & Materials Group and GM, Mercedes Benz India, gave a comparative perspective of ELV recycling practices, OEM responsibilities, and related challenges as per EU directives for ELV and Japan’s ELV recycling model.

Elaborating upon the tremendous opportunity of ELV in India, Mr Deshmukh advocated for the extended producer responsibility model and emphasised upon the importance of shared responsibility of all stakeholders including manufacturers, importers, last owners, treatment operators and the Government.

One of the key architects of the policy, Mr Amit Varadan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, and the Chief Guest at the lecture, said, “There are over 1 Crore old vehicles, which lack alleged fitness certificate and can be scrapped. It will greatly improve road, vehicular and passenger safety and boost auto sector sales by 30 per cent. It has the potential to generate 35,000 jobs and substantially improve fuel efficiency, while reducing maintenance cost for customers and manufacturing cost for auto sector.”

The vehicle scrappage process, he said, begins with the testing of fitness of the vehicles. From April 1, 2023, the heavy commercial vehicles will be mandated to undergo test at authorised fitness testing center and the rest of the commercial vehicles will be mandated to undergo test from August 1, 2023. “We are proposing that 70-100 fitness testing centers would be set-up all over the country,” he said.

Mr Paresh Goel, Director, Ministry of Road Transport & Highway, remarked the Vehicle Scrappage Policy is like the health policy for all the 25 crore plus vehicles in the country. He shared the rules for recognition, regulation and control of automated testing stations, covering the owners’ eligibility, authorisation processes, infrastructure and manpower requirements, testing procedure, and audit process of the centres.

Mr M S Anand Kumar, Co-Chairman, SIAM Recycling & Material Group and GM, TVS Motor Co, said the scrapping policy has the potential to increase the yield from ELVs, resulting in resource conversation and lower landfills.

Mr Masaru Akaishi, MD, Maruti Suzuki Toyotsu India, elaborated upon the proper dismantling process and discussed the challenges of ELV generation, collection, dismantling and material sales. He pointed out that regulations should make all players follow proper systems. He also emphasised upon the role of incentives and disincentives to encourage the ELV user to dispose old car and take it to authorized dismantler.

The replacement of old commercial vehicles will result in reduced fuel bills and will help in reducing pollution, said Mr Som Kapoor, Partner (Automotive Sector), Ernst & Young.

Mr Meenakshi Sundaram, CTO, Amalgamations Component Group, said, “Adopting circular economy by recycling and re-using of automotive parts will lead to the creation of an estimated 8 to 10 billion USD economy.”

Mr Anand Kumar, Additional Director, CPCB, shared with the industry various responsibilities of producers under Battery (M&H) Rules, 2001, as amended in 2010.

Mr Sanjay Mehta, President, MRAI, said, “We require informal sector’s help on day-to-day running of business as they have got better sources to procure the material. We need to give them support in terms of equipment, facilities and incentives and the Government has to support in this matter.”