April 19, 2024


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How to get a pollution certificate/license for business in India?

How to Get a Pollution Certificate / License for business in India?


Covid-19 imposed lockdowns contributed to the reduction of industrial pollutants during the first wave of the virus in 2020. Even if partial lockdowns were imposed in mid-2021, the situation of air pollution is worrisome. As per a news article in India Today dated July 7, 2021, several states are facing worsened air quality. Delhi alone has suffered a spike of 125 per cent in Nitrogen Dioxide during April 2021. The increase in air pollutants is attributed to the increased level of industrial activities.

As a measure of compliance and to regulate the trade effluents emitted from factories, the businesses in India have to obtain a pollution certificate/license from the State Pollution Control Board.

How to get a pollution certificate/license for business in India?

This is a compliance certificate after the Company or business is established. If you wish to set up a business, many lenders are offering business loans with competitive interest rates. After Covid-19, the business loan interest rates have reduced significantly. You may choose the monthly cash outflow as per convenience by checking the business loan EMI calculator. However, business loan eligibility differs on a case-to-case basis. Once you have the business setup ready, you make then apply for a pollution certificate for your business.

Now coming back to the topic, there are a series of steps to be followed to obtain the pollution certificate from the respective State Pollution Control Board.

Step 1: Consent from authorities

In case the factory is falling under the red, orange or green category, then consent to establish (CTE) and Consent to operate (CTO) is required from the appropriate authorities. Consent to establish is primary permission to be taken from the respective authorities to start any manufacturing activity. Consent to Operate is another consent certification to be taken which certifies maintenance of industry standards. CTO is required for all industries. Step 1 is not applicable in case the factory falls under the white category.

Step 2: Application on the website

The next step is to make an application to the concerned state government authorities. The Pollution Board in every state has its application form. You need to specify details as required in the application form. The information is to be given on the website. Since pollution certificates can be given by the state pollution board only, each state has its website. For example, in case your organisation is established in Delhi you can visit https://www.dpcc.delhigovt.nic.in.

Step 3: Specify the details

Specify details in the application form regarding the proposed plans for control of the pollution to be emitted from the factory, the details of the prospective site wherein the factory would be set up and any other certificates as required. However, you don’t need to mention here the particulars such as the prevailing business loan interest rate.

Step 4: Attach documents and submit

The documents required for the application should be attached along with the application online. As per the industry category, you may require to attach the CTE and CTO. Then the application needs to be submitted to the concerned authority of the State Pollution Control Board. However, you don’t need to mention the business loan details here.

Step 5: Inspection

The concerned authority will visit the business premises for verification of the facts and the environment. Based on the inspection done, the application may be accepted or rejected.

Step 6: Approval or rejection

In case the authorities are satisfied with the preliminary inspection, the application will be accepted. Acceptance of the application means the issuance of NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the State Pollution Control Board.

However, in case the application is rejected, the Pollution Control Board will specify reasons for the same. Based on the reasons provided, correction actions may be taken before reapplication.

Please note that in the case of the industry falling under the white category, the factory is granted NOC directly. Such factories just need to intimate the respective State Pollution Control Board. Inspection will not be judged with business loan eligibility.

How are industries categorised?

  • This categorisation is nowhere linked with business loan eligibility.
  • For the pollution control board, all industries are classified into four categories namely red, orange, green and white. This differentiation is made based on the highest pollution index. Red means the highest index while white means the lowest index.
  • For industries falling under the red, orange or green category, CTE and CTO are mandatory as per the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
  • The white category motivates the factories to promote environment-friendly manufacturing methods. Thus, industries falling under the white category are granted privileges such as easy application for pollution certificates.


Credibility is linked with the timely payment of EMIs on business loans. You can always check the business loan EMI calculator with a few clicks on Google before applying for one. Similarly, the credibility of any business enhances when it is compliant with the local laws and regulations. An entity, which ensures compliance with environmental laws, is always seen in the good books of the stakeholders. Thus, a pollution certificate is one of such important compliances.

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