Pesticides Management Bill, 2020 is expected to handle the inadequacy of the 50-year-old Insecticides Act, 1968. Mention key provisions of the bill. Also critically examine various apprehensions in the bill.
The Pesticide Management Bill, 2020 seeks to regulate the manufacture, import, sale, storage, distribution, use, and disposal of pesticides, in order to ensure the availability of safe pesticides and minimize the risk to humans, animals, and environment. It also seeks to replace the Insecticides Act, 1968 which currently governs the registration, manufacturing, export, sale and use of pesticides in India
Key provisions of the bill
- It will empower farmers by providing them with all the information about the strength and weakness of pesticides, the risk and alternatives. All information will be available openly as data in digital format and in all languages.
- The Bill has a unique feature in the form of a provision for compensation in case there is any loss because of the spurious or low quality of pesticides.
- All pesticide manufacturers have to be registered and bound by the new Act, once it is passed. The advertisements of pesticides will be regulated so there should be no confusion or no cheating by the manufacturers.
- Constitution of Central Pesticides Board to advise the central and state governments on scientific and technical matters arising under the Act
Benefits with the bill
- It promotes production and distribution of safe and effective pesticides.
- It assesses the potential effects of these products on the health of people and the environment.
- Advertisement of pesticides will create awareness and prevent misconceptions
- violation of rules will have heavy penalties to the manufacturers
Concerns with the bill
- PMB 2020 does not allow the export of pesticides that are banned in India even if those are approved for use in other countries.
- The provision of import of formulations under the bill ultimately damages the crop, health of farmers, and the environment.
- Obtaining a prescription by the farmers will decline the adequate and timely procurement of the pesticides.
- Licensing and registration power is more in the hands of the bureaucrats.
New machines and methods must be mainstreamed and promoted among the farmers for minimal use of pesticides.