Agriculture World

PMFAI Views on Pesticides Management Bill (PMB)

KJ Staff
KJ Staff
pesticide

The Union Cabinet approved “Pesticides Management Bill (PMB)” on 11th February 2020, which will be replaced by Insecticides Act 1968 and the PMB is likely to be introduced in the present session of Parliament for its approval. 

About PMB, there are lot of concerns and confusions prevailing in Pesticide Industry about impractical clauses included in PMB, which if not addressed properly, likely to affect growth of Pesticide Industry in India, particularly MSMEs. The industry already is struggling due to poor investments in the sector due to various reasons including surging imports and taxation policies, said Mr. Pradip Dave, President of Pesticides Manufacturers & Formulators Association of India (PMFAI). 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India shared draft of “The Pesticides Management Bill 2017” with industry and other stakeholders on which suggestions and views were submitted.  However, the final version of PMB has not been shared with the stakeholders. 

Mr. Pradip Dave, PMFAI President

Mr. Dave said that the industry felt that Draft PMB 2017 were an example of over regulations contrary to the motto of "Minimum Government, Maximum Governance" and will only help in driving away "manufacturing of pesticides" from India contrary to the vision of “Make in India”. Harsh penalties and punishments proposed even for minor violations that are grossly disproportionate will create hurdles for manufacturers and will bring back corruption. 

PMFAI being the largest national association representing agrochemical industry in India, while giving our view points, we appealed the Government for inclusion of following key clauses in PMB – 

Provisions for compulsory registration of Technical Grade Pesticides in India, prior to granting registrations for imports or indigenous manufacturing of finished pesticides formulations which is a practice followed by major agricultural nations like US, Europe, Brazil, China, Australia, Argentina etc.  Regulations under PMB should provide level field for domestic manufacturers by ensuring compulsory registration of Technical Grade Pesticides in India, which will help making available Technical Grade material to small and medium scale industries in the country.  If Technical Grade products are not registered in the country, there will not be opportunities for MSMEs.  

No Data Protection to be considered for Agrochemicals in PMB: Provision for Data Protection for Agrochemicals/Pesticides should NOT be included in Pesticides Management Bill (PMB). Provisions for Data Protection if provided, will effectively be extending the monopoly of MNCs for a further period, who already enjoys 20 years Patent Protection under WTO provisions which has become operational in India from the year 2005. If Data Protection is given further, it is like ever-greening of Patents.  Data Exclusivity in Agrochemicals sector will not only delay entry of Generics by creating additional period of legal monopoly but will also make Agrochemicals/Pesticides un-affordable to Indian Farmers. 

De-criminalization of Agri Inputs Sector by removal of provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure 1970 from Pesticide Management Bill (PMB). Agrochemicals being one of the key agri inputs for Farmers to protect their crops from pests and diseases, Government need to exempt the sector from provisions of Code of Criminal Procedures, to attract more investments manufacturing as well as Research & Development in the sector. 

While awaiting the final version of Pesticides Management Bill (PMB), we are of the suggestion that Government need to convene consultation meetings with industry associations to consider industry’s concerns and recommendations. 

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