PAN India Submitted Memorandum to the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Demands Critical Amendments to the Pesticide Management Bill 2020

In a memorandum submitted to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture, PAN India demands critical amendments to the Pesticide Management Bill 2020. The proposed act should have addressed issues ensuring sustainable agriculture production without harming the environment, ensuring farmer and worker safety as well as safe food production, and gradually eliminating use of toxic pesticides by laying down a path towards wider adoption of non chemical pest management based on agroecology principles in realization of the precautionary principle and assuring the rights guaranteed by the Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

 

The Pesticide Management Bill 2020 (PMB2020) was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in March 2020 after the Union Cabinet approved it in February 2020. The Bill, as proposed, would replace the existing Insecticides Act 1968, and two draft bills proposed earlier in 2008 and 2017. The Bill has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture on 3rd June 2021. The committee had sought comments and suggestions from stakeholder for the purpose of wider consultation.

As the new legislation intends to regulate the pesticide sector in India, by replacing the 50-year-old Insecticides Act 1968, it needs to be comprehensive enough to address the ground reality of pesticide use and related complexities in the country among other aspects. A comprehensive review conducted by PAN India team shows critical lacunae in the current Bill. Based on the findings PAN India submitted memorandum to the Standing committee on Agriculture.

The following problems are noted in the current Bill:

  • Though the bill has some welcoming, remarkable provisions such as those for monitoring of pesticide poisoning and compensating legal hairs of victims, it does not address many critical issues of technical aspects.

  • The bill failed to address the actual pesticide use scenario and comprehensive registration process in view of pesticide risk reduction.

  • The bill never addressed protection of pesticide users – farmers and farm workers.

  • Some of the clauses in the bill are actually meant to provide insulation to authority and pesticide business without inclusion of balancing accountability and transparency clauses.

  • The national pesticide regulation should have been complied with internationally accepted criteria, standards and guidelines on pesticide registration, protection of users and community as well as environment.

Find below the submission from PAN India.

Covering letter

Critical Lacunae in the Bill

Clause wise problems

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