Pesticides Management Bill 2020 | UPSC

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Pesticides Management Bill 2020 _ UPSC

Pesticides Management Bill 2020 | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Pesticides Management Bill, 2020 will hurt farmers’ livelihood, say experts

      WHY IN NEWS:

Experts call for wider consultations on the bill and for it to be placed before a select committee

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Agriculture
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2: 3 : Bills : Agriculture

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS just go through the older bill once i.e Insecticides Act 1968 .

For MAINS go through the concerns and the impact . Share your views on the draft too . Let us know in the comment section .

      ISSUE: 

The Pesticides Management Bill (PMB), 2020 — introduced in the Rajya Sabha on March 23, 2020 to replace The Insecticides Act, 1968 .

PESTICIDES MANAGEMENT BILL 2020

  • Consumption of pesticides is rising steadily in India.
  • In 2018-19, 72,515 metric tons of pesticides were used by farmers all over the country.

Data reveals that only eight states consume more than 70 percent of total pesticide.

  • Such a high rate of use of hazardous chemicals is ruining the environment and biodiversity besides killing the people.
  • The Insecticides Act, 1968 currently governs the registration, manufacturing, export, sale and use of pesticides in India.

OVERVIEW

  • This will have a far-reaching impact on Indian agriculture and famers livelihood if it is passed in the current form.
  • PMB, 2020 would not allow the manufacture and export of pesticides not registered for use in India even if these are approved in other countries.

The demands of Ashok Dalwai Committee 2018 ; to promote domestic and indigenous industries and agricultural exports from India, are missing from PMB, 2020.

  • The present PMB, however, will increase the import of formulations and will damage the export of agro-chemicals.
  • One of the provisions in the bill gives powers to Registration Committee (RC) to subjectively review registration of a pesticide and then suspend, cancel or even ban its usage.

PMB 2020 IMPACT ON FARMERS LIVELIHOOD

  • MISUSE OF POWER : Wide, unfettered powers proposed for government authorities that are likely to be misused, thereby hampering the regular availability of essential crop protection products for farmers.
  • CONTINUOUS REVIEW : Provisions of continuous review of registered pesticides with a threat to discontinue their production can disrupt the supply chain of necessary crop protection products.
  • EMERGENCY PROVISIONS : PMB lacks a provision for emergency usage approvals of pesticides during any pest-infestation emergency. This will leave crops vulnerable to locust attacks etc.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY : PMB imposes broad liabilities on pesticide manufacturers without accounting for situations wherein liability arises from factors beyond their control.

UNFAIR ADVANTAGES : Under PMB, importers are not required to register technical-grade pesticide in India before registering any of its formulations in the country. 

  • CROP PROTECTION : PMB will make it so difficult that the losses due to pests and disease will turn the mission of doubling farmers’ income into a distant dream.
  • STRONG CONCERNS : Given these lacunae, the Bill has evoked strong concerns among the crop care industry, the farmers’ community and a large section of society.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

EXPECTATIONS FROM THE NEW BILL

  • COMPLETE BAN : Experts demand that the new law should ensure that no pesticide can be registered in India if it is banned in other countries and particularly most hazardous Class-1 pesticide should be banned completely.

According to the 1968 law, anyone found violating the law will be levied with a financial penalty of Rs. 2,000 and up to three years imprisonment.

  • PENALTY : Activists state that the penalty should be linked to the annual turnover of the pesticide giants.
  • PROTECTIVE GEARS : The companies selling pesticides should be asked to provide protective gears and masks to the farmers.
  • TRAINING : They want the government to strengthen its agriculture extension machinery which is responsible for the training and awareness of farmers.
  • STRESS FREE CLEARANCES : Also, there is a demand to ensure ‘no pressure’ on government officials to clear any pesticide in a specified time frame.

The main reason why a bill like this is needed is to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of pesticides.

     SOURCES:DownToEarth | Pesticides Management Bill 2020 | UPSC

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