Seeking to make air pollution controls more efficient, the union ministry of environment and forests on Thursday launched a national technical consultation for polluting industries on an emissions trading scheme.
Speaking at the inaugural session, union environment minister Jairam Ramesh said it is a small but necessary step in environmental regulation to address global climate change.
''There is a debate on carbon trade globally. Today what India is doing with this initiative is a carbon trade for local polluters,'' Ramesh said.
Advocating "stricter and more robust" environmental regulations, the minister said however that this did not need a multiplicity of regulators. "So, we had to find a way of regulating without regulators."
"I look upon today's initiative as a first step that India is taking to enforce environmental regulations in a market-friendly manner," Ramesh said.
Maintaining that the government is not doing "this carbon trade initiative because of the global negotiations on climate change," he said the initiative is linked with tackling the public health problem caused by local polluters.