Refer pesticide Bill to select House panel: Manufacturers to govt

Refer pesticide Bill to select House panel: Manufacturers to govt

A farmer sprays pesticide in a potato field. PTI Photo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 6

Pesticide manufacturers want the government to refer the Pesticide Management Bill, 2020, pending in the Rajya Sabha, to a select committee of Parliament for wider consultations.

They are of the view that the Bill is fraught with infirmities and will impact farm and pesticide manufacturing sectors.

Introduced in the Rajya Sabha on March 23 last year, it is likely to be taken up for consideration during the upcoming session of Parliament for enactment into a law.

It seeks to replace the present Insecticide Act, which currently governs the registration, manufacturing, exports and use of pesticides in India.

What the Bill proposes

  • “The Bill proposes to criminalise offences, including minor defaults, without defining them. This will demoralise the pesticide industry and by extension hit the farm sector,”said Dr Ajit Kumar, chairman, Technical Committee, CCFI.
  • Many in the farm sector have reservations against a Bill’s proposal which disallows manufacture and export of pesticides not registered for use in India, but are approved for use

in countries like the USA, Europe and Japan.

The Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI), an apex body of 50 pesticide organisations, is of the view that the good intentions of the government behind the proposed new law will come to naught due to some pernicious proposals in the Bill. “The Bill proposes to criminalise offences, including minor defaults, without defining them.This will demoralise the pesticide industry and by extension hit the farm sector,” Dr Ajit Kumar, chairman, Technical Committee, CCFI said.

Many in the farm sector have reservations against a Bill’s proposal which disallows manufacture and export of pesticides which are not registered for use in India, but are approved for use in countries like the USA, Europe and Japan. The provision for registration of a technical grade pesticide in India before registration of any of its formulations in India will result in unfair advantages to imported formulations which may contain unregulated, low-grade or expired technical-grade pesticides sourced from unapproved sources.

The Bill vests unbridled power in the Registration Committee to review the registration of a pesticide and suspend, cancel or ban it without scientific basis. The pesticide producers suggest review of registration after 15 years of the grant of original registration or 10 years of products’ last review to eradicate arbitrariness.

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