Pesticide industry body Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) has raised concerns over some of the aspects of the Pesticides Management Bill 2020, proposing the legislation to be sent to a select committee of Parliament. CCFI represents agrochemical firms in India with a member base of over 50 leading companies. The industry body has said that if the bill is passed in the current form, it will have a far-reaching impact on Indian agriculture and farmers.
“The PMB in the present shape does not meet the industry's expectations,” said CCFI Chairman (technical committee) Ajit Kumar to PTI.
Highlighting major drawbacks in the bill, Kumar said firstly the bill has criminalized almost all the offences, which is not in the interest of genuine manufacturers because of the existing "faulty" sample collection system. "Section 44 up to 52 talks about penalty and jail term for the violation which were there in the earlier law also. But penalizing without strengthening the sample collection process puts genuine manufacturers at risk,” he said.
Another concern, Kumar said, is about a provision in the bill that states revoking of a licence if a person is convicted of an offence. “If a company manufactures 30-40 products and if it is convicted of one offence, then the whole factory should not be closed. It should be penalized for that particular offence, and the entire factory should not close. In such a situation, our industry cannot survive,” he said. He also appealed to the government to change the provision in the bill under which notices are served for offences to directors of the company in the first instance.
The industry body also wants the government to relook at many provisions of the bill that provides for arbitrary ban of pesticides, prohibition on export of products that are banned in India, re-registration of pesticides that were already registered after new law comes in force, among others.