Pesticides Management Bill 2020 | UPSC
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
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2: 3 : Bills : Agriculture
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 .
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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.