Govt to permit exports of banned pesticides on case-to-case basis: Narendra Singh Tomar
The ministry has sought suggestions from the various stakeholders within 45 days. The use of 27 insecticides are likely to involve risk to human being and animals, the order said.
Addressing a webinar organised by industry body FICCI and Dhanuka Agritech on agro-chemicals, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, “The agriculture ministry will permit exports of pesticides that are banned for sales in the domestic market on a case to case basis.”
He said the ministry will double the timeline to submit suggestions by stakeholders on its draft order dated May 14 that proposes to ban 27 pesticides. The ban will be effective from the date of final notification. The ministry has sought suggestions from the various stakeholders within 45 days. The use of 27 insecticides are likely to involve risk to human being and animals, the order said.
A senior agriculture ministry official said that notification for extending the time for inviting comments to 90 days will be issued soon.
On the Pesticides Management Bill, which has been introduced in Parliament, the minister said the government has made provisions of penalty and imprisonment in the proposed law to check manufacturing and sales of spurious products that can have an adverse impact on crops.
However, he asked the industry to send their suggestions if this objective could be achieved without such provisions. The minister stressed on the need to increase expenditure on research and development in the agro-chemical sector by both the government and private players.
Highlighting the achievement in the Indian agriculture sector, Tomar said the country has harvested bumper Rabi crops and witnessed sharp rise in the sowing of kharif crops despite the nationwide lockdown to control coronavirus disease. He expressed confidence that farm sector GDP will grow.
Earlier, Dhanuka Agritech Chairman R G Agarwal said the proposed ban would affect both farmers and manufacturers. He said at least 12 out of 27 products were being widely used in major agri producing countries and demanded that the government should withdraw this draft order.
Pesticides industry body PMFAI on Tuesday opposed the government's proposal to ban 27 pesticides, stating that it would result in business loss of worth Rs 6,000 crore and benefit China, besides affecting farmers' interest with substitutes being four-times costly.
Pesticides Manufacturers & Formulators Association of India (PMFAI) President Pradip Dave had sought an investigation by a high powered scientific panel on the proposed ban of these 27 pesticides.
The draft order was against the spirit of Make in India, Atmanirbhar Bharat and the mission of doubling farmers' income by 2022, he had said.
"These 27 generic pesticides have a total market of Rs 6,000 crore, of which Rs 4,000 crore are domestic sales and Rs 2,000 crore exports. We will lose this entire business," Dave had said. According to industry data, the total market size of Indian pesticides industry is around Rs 40,000-42,000 crore, of which around half is domestic sales and rest exports.