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RSS affiliate objects to clauses in Pesticide Management Bill, says they give ‘unwarranted advantage to MNCs’

RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) on Thursday raised objections to sure clauses in the Pesticide Management Bill, 2020 as proposed by the Centre. In a submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee discussing the Bill, SJM stated the Bill offers “unwarranted advantage to MNCs” and doesn’t have adequate safety for home pesticide producers.

The Bill, launched in Rajya Sabha final 12 months and despatched to the standing committee, goals to regulate enterprise of pesticides and compensate farmers in case of losses from utilization of spurious agro-chemicals.

SJM has additionally stated the Bill has provisions which “promote importers’ and foreign interests”.

“There is a clause in Section 22(1) in the draft PMB 2020, which gives unwarranted advantage to MNCs, who generally happen to be the first registrants. This section needs to be deleted. There is no need to empower first registrant to manipulate the registration of subsequent registrants in India,” SJM National Co-Convenor Ashwani Mahajan stated.

SJM stated current legal guidelines promote the pursuits of importers. “Unfortunately, present draft doesn’t include sufficient provisions to safeguard domestic manufacturing. On the contrary, there still exist many provisions, which promote importers’ and foreign interests,” it stated.

The outfit advised that the registration committee ought to have the rights to refuse the registration for import of ready-made pesticides if that pesticide is already registered and being manufactured in India or if the committee is glad that options can be found in the nation.

“This would promote domestic manufacturing, and save the economy from import dependence,” SJM submitted.

“Assembly and repackaging should not be equivalent to manufacturing as most of the importers are selling imported pesticides in different brands without value addition and threaten survival of domestic manufacturers. To regulate imports of pesticides, provision for imposition of non-tariff barriers should be made to safeguard the life of plants, animals and human beings by ways of legal provisions on the lines of WTO restrictions, for Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary (SPS) measures and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT),” it stated.

SJM additionally stated bio and natural pesticides had been the speciality of Indian agriculture however the Bill doesn’t present ample recognition, legitimacy, degree taking part in discipline and registration processes to these novel merchandise.

“The regulation of pesticides should be free from the influence of the pesticide industry and importers lobby to avoid possible conflict of interest. The new Bill’s provisions for prevention of conflict of interest are weak and inadequate,” it has stated.

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