NEW DELHI: A bill which seeks to regulate recycling of ships according to international standards was passed by Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 was passed by voice vote with Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya asserting that the proposed law will help the ship recycling industry and generate more jobs.
While most of the amendments moved by opposition members were withdrawn, some which were tabled were defeated.
Mandaviya said protection of environment and safety of workers are the soul of the bill.
Responding to the debate on the bill, Mandaviya said adhering to the Hong Kong convention will help the country get more ships for recycling.
"The industry will prosper and will bring more wealth," he said adding that "downstream industries" will also be supported in the process.
Responding to queries, he said protection of environment and safety of workers is the "soul" of the bill and enough safeguards have been put in place to ensure that hazardous material and chemicals do not cause problems.
Congress member Hibi Eden opposed the bill, questioning the "hurry" with which the government had brought it and cautioned that India's rivals in the business like Pakistan, Bangladesh and China may benefit at its cost.
India is a global leader with 30 per cent market.
Mandaviya, who holds the independent charge of the shipping ministry, said the bill's provisions are in line with Hong Kong Convention that lays out a framework for the ship recycling business, which has huge environmental and safety dimensions.
India, the minister added, also gets 10 per cent of its steel from this business and expressed confidence that the legislation will help grow the country's share of trade.
Out of around 1,000 merchant ships which are broken every year, 300 are brought in India, he said, noting that Gujarat has the dominant share in the country.