, , , Ayush cos in Maharashtra set to comply with ABS payments | HOMEOTODAY

Ayush manufactures from across Maharashtra have agreed to share details on access to bio-resources and benefit sharing (ABS) with the Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board (MSBB) as mandated by the law following Union ministry of environment and forests' (MoEF) notification on November 21, 2014 effective from thereon. 

This according to officials is the outcome of sensitisation workshops held at Nagpur and Pune on ABS a few months back to make the Ayush manufactures comply with the notification towards sustainable use of bio-resources in accordance with Biological Diversity (BD) Act, 2002. 

According to official sources, "We would further be meeting the industry associations representing Ayush manufacturers on working out the modalities of ABS compliance as they have now agreed to pay royalty as per the ABS notification of the BD Act, 2002. The workshops have brought home the mindset among the manufacturers that compliance to the Act is actually meant to benefit them as it will encourage judicious use of the respective bio-resource in the long-term from agriculture and forest areas."

MSBB had also in the past issued 2000 notices to Ayush manufacturers in the state following the MoEF notification but got around 15 responses only. An official remarked that workshops has ensured that compliance should go through a democratic process of consensus and not by way of litigations as many companies could not understand the rationale of the notification and had technical difficulties initially. The modalities of the same will be clarified at the meet.

The MoEF notified ABS guidelines to boost sustainable use of bio-resources across the country as per Biological Diversity Act, 2002. As per the Act, manufacturers are accountable to share details of the source from where raw material has been procured and share a certain per cent of the revenue generated out of the production to further the cause of biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use.

"Around 50 companies participated in the workshops from across the state. These workshops are significant as certain plant-based raw materials are today unavailable because of the indiscriminate exploitative practices due to lack of effective enforcement of regulations," explained an official.

As per the MoEF notification on ABS, when the biological resources are accessed for commercial utilisation or the bio-survey and bio-utilisation leads to commercial utilisation, the applicant shall have the option to pay the benefit sharing ranging from 0.1 to 0.5 per cent at the following graded percentages of the annual gross ex-factory sale of the product which shall be worked out based on the annual gross ex-factory sale minus government taxes.

Till date, over 700 Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) have been set up in Maharashtra under Section 22(2) of the Act. Local bodies have constituted the BMCs in respective villages as per Section 41 of the Act. BMCs prepare, maintain and validate People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) in consultation with the local people. PBR gives information about the details of biological resources and traditional knowledge.

According to Section 7 and 24(2) of the Act, organisations extracting plant based material for commercial purpose without intimation to State Biodiversity Board are liable under Section 55(2) of the Act and shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend up to three years with fine or five years with fine or both.

Till date, over 34, 000 BMCs and 29 State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) have been set up under Section 22(2) of the Act across the country. Local bodies have constituted the BMCs in respective states as per Section 41 of the Act.


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