What’s the hurry on Pesticide Bill, panel members ask Centre

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on June 29, 2021

MPs argued that many of the provisions in the Bill is an encroachment into the rights of States

The first meeting of the Agriculture Standing Committee of Parliament on Pesticide Management Bill on Tuesday saw near unanimity among members in appealing to the Centre that the Bill should not be pushed in a hurry. The members reminded the Union Agriculture Secretary, Sanjay Agarwal, about the controversies that followed the passage of the three farm laws and said the Centre should reach out to farmers, agriculture scientists and State Governments to know their views on the Bill.

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The panel is headed by BJP MP from Karnataka, Parvatagouda Chandanagouda Gaddigoudar. The Bill, tabled in the Parliament last year, seeks to regulate pesticides, including their manufacture, import, packaging, labelling, pricing, storage, advertisement, sale, transport, distribution, use and disposal in order to ensure availability of safe and effective pesticides.

“Encroachment into States’ rights”

The MPs argued that many of the provisions in the Bill is an encroachment into the rights of States. They said it will give an upper hand to multinational companies in the production and sale of manufacturing of pesticides. “Many in the committee opined that the farmers may not accept the Bill as it is likely to result in increase in the input cost,” a member in the panel said.

The members said the committee should also hear the views of the States and farmers’ unions who are holding protests against the three farm laws. The Opposition members also questioned the decision to invite pro government farmers’ outfits such as Bharatiya Kisan Sangh and Bharat Krishak Samaj into the meeting. “We said the committee should also invite unions who hold critical views against the Centre. The Chairman said he will consider that suggestion,” another member said.

Published on June 29, 2021

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