BENGAL, India (Reuters) – New bills were introduced on Tuesday in the Rajya Sabha to reinstate India’s ban on chemical substances, but the measure was rejected by the lower house of parliament.
The measure to revive the ban on substances like chlorine, sulfur dioxide and ammonia was rejected in the upper house by lawmakers.
The bill, which passed the lower chamber by a vote of 98-2, would give the Indian government the right to ban chemical substances in the country without any court order, and to ban them within 72 hours.
The ban was imposed in 2014 and came into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.
It was extended on Feb. 1 that year to Jan. 5.
The government said the measure could be extended up to 10 days from the date of the enactment.
India, which is a member of the European Union, was a party to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Joint Declaration on Chemical Safety, but it did not sign it until 2020.
India has been trying to make it easier for foreign companies to get their products into India for more than a decade, but has not been able to make progress.
In 2014, India banned the use of the chemicals chloramine, sulfuric acid and sulfur dioxide, as well as certain antibiotics.
The ban came into force on Feb, 1, 2019, and was extended by up to ten days for up to one year.
The WHO joint declaration says the substances are “generally recognised as having no medical value and pose a serious threat to human health and the environment.”
India has since banned chloramine and sulfuric acids.
The country has also banned chloroform and sulfurous acids.