India’s public news broadcaster, Prasar Bharati, criticised Reuters India for its report on Wednesday that the government had “shelved” a plan to ban six single-use plastic items across the country.
The report was a follow-up to a story on August 28, in which Reuters said the Union government was planning to ban single-use plastic from October 2, Gandhi Jayanti. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is leading efforts to scrap such plastics by 2022, is set to launch the campaign with a ban on as many as six items on October 2, the birth anniversary of independence leader Mahatma Gandhi,” the report said, citing unnamed officials.
In a tweet, Prasar Bharati dubbed the report “fake news” and followed it up with another tweet, “...To imagine a fictitious ‘ban’ and then to claim it has been ‘shelved’ is reflective of the polemical approach of International News Agencies that are looking to stoke controversies [and] spread negativity.”
Several officials have denied since September that a ban is in the works.
Since 2016, the government has tightened the rules for the manufacture and collection of plastic waste, but has left to the States the onus of implementing them. On September 9, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said no “ban” was in the works.