Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced that no manufacturing industry would be allowed in the Capital in new industrial areas as part of the plan to control air pollution in the National Capital Region. Only service industry and the hi-tech industry would be permitted to open, he said.

In a virtual press conference, the chief minister said that the manufacturing houses in older industrial areas would be given a chance to shift to the service or the hi-tech industry. A government official, however, clarified that no action will be taken against the existing manufacturing units and that they would be encouraged to make the shift, according to PTI.

Kejriwal said that the media, lawyers, information technology companies, internet service providers, call centres and advertising agencies could open offices as part of the service sector and hi-tech industry. He said the Centre approved the Delhi government’s proposal by changing the definition of industry in the Delhi Master Plan 2021 and issued a notification to implement it.

“I thank [Union minister] Hardeep Singh Puri ji for approving our proposal to amend master plan to change [the] definition of industrial activity,” the chief minister said in another tweet. “Earlier, manufacturing was permitted, which led to pollution and filth... Industrial areas will become neat, clean and green.”

Kejriwal said that Delhi’s economy was primarily based on the service industry. “The service and hi-tech industry were, so far, covered under office category in the Master Plan and could open only in commercial areas,” he said. “So, due to very high rates in commercial areas, these were not opening in Delhi and were going to Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad instead.”

He added that such establishments now do not need to go to other cities as they would get more space at cheaper rates in the commercial areas of the city.