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Pesticides Management Bill, 2020

  Sep 19, 2020

Pesticides Management Bill, 2020

Q. Why in News ?

A.  Experts have warned that few provisions in the Pesticides Management Bill will hurt farmers’ livelihood. Therefore, they have called for wider consultations on the bill and asked it to place it before a select committee.

Q. What is Pesticides Management Bill ?

A. The Pesticides Management Bill, 2020 was approved by the Union Cabinet in February this year.  It will replace the Insecticides Act, 1968.

Q. What are Key provisions in the Bill ?

  1. The Bill will regulate the business of pesticides and compensate farmers in case of losses from the use of agrochemicals.
  2. Pesticide Data: It will empower farmers by providing them with all the information about the strength and weakness of pesticides, the risk and alternatives. All information will be available openly as data in digital format and in all languages.
  3. Compensation: The Bill has a unique feature in the form of a provision for compensations in case there is any loss because of the spurious or low quality of pesticides. If required, a central fund will be formed to take care of the compensations.
  4. Organic Pesticides: The Bill also intends to promote organic pesticides.
  5. Registration of Pesticide Manufacturers: All pesticide manufacturers have to be registered and bound by the new Act, once it is passed. The advertisements of pesticides will be regulated so there should be no confusion or no cheating by the manufacturers.

Q. Key issues/provisions highlighted by experts?

  • It would not allow the manufacture and export of pesticides not registered for use in India even if these are approved in other countries.
  • The bill will increase the import of formulations and will damage the export of agro-chemicals. This is against the demands presented by the Ashok Dalwai Committee, constituted in 2018 to promote domestic and indigenous industries and agricultural exports from India. The committee had recommended reduction in import and dependence on imported formulations.
  • The bill gives powers to Registration Committee (RC) to subjectively review registration of a pesticide and then suspend, cancel or even ban its usage. This would be done without any scientific evaluation.
  • It also provides for re-registration of pesticides already registered under the erstwhile 1968 Act. This will bring instability in the pesticides industry.