1. Farm Mechanization

Centre Extends the Date for Implementing New Emission Norms for Farm Equipment

The ministry issued a draught notification in April extending the date for new emission standards. However, it is awaiting a response from stakeholders before extending the deadline to October or beyond, depending on whether the industry can persuade the government to address its concerns.

Binita Kumari
The deadline has been pushed out twice, first to October 2021 and then to March 2022.
The deadline has been pushed out twice, first to October 2021 and then to March 2022.

The government may again postpone the implementation of new emissions laws for agricultural equipment as it will raise the cost of tractors, combine harvesters, and power tillers, adding to the farm community's woes in the face of rising inflation.

According to two people familiar with this development, a formal notification extending the deadline for implementing the Trem Stage-IV emission norms for the farm sector to 1 October is expected to be released early next month.

“Following stricter emission norms for farm equipment that conforms to Euro Stage IV norms would mean that the prices of this equipment would have to be increased by 10-20% for the extra specifications. At a time, inflation is already high, raising the cost of equipment may result in squeezing farmers’ income. More time will help cover some of these issues," said one of the two people, seeking anonymity.

From October 2020, the ministry of road transport and roads has notified revisions to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989, which will allow tractors, combine harvesters, and power tillers to comply with the Trem Stage-IV criteria. The deadline has been pushed out twice, first to October 2021 and then to March 2022.

According to the second person, the ministry issued a draught notification in April extending the date for new emission standards. However, it is awaiting a response from stakeholders before extending the deadline to October or beyond, depending on whether the industry can persuade the government to address its concerns.

In 1999, the government introduced Bharat (Trem) Stage I emission requirements for agricultural tractors. For most engine categories, emission regulations for agricultural tractors and construction machinery were harmonized starting with Bharat (Trem) Stage III-A. India also introduced Bharat Stage (CEV/Trem) IV - V pollution norms for diesel nonroad engines used in construction and agricultural machinery in March 2018. Construction equipment vehicles, or CEVs, are vehicles that are used to transport construction materials.

The emission standards for Bharat Stage (CEV/Trem) IV are the same as those for EU Stage IV, while the standards for Bharat Stage (CEV/Trem) V are the same as those for EU Stage V.

The CEV and Trem standards will be separated in September 2020. Trem Stage IV and V are the standards for farm equipment, and they follow emission specifications that are distinct from those in Trem Stage I and II.

However, people aware of the issue said the government was considering all factors, including cost, before enacting strict farm machinery regulations. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government revoked three farm laws that sparked widespread farmer protests, the government is treading carefully in imposing new agricultural regulations that could hike expenses.

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