The Pesticide Management Bill, 2020: Standing Committee on Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Processing (2021-22)

Amid concerns expressed by the industry bodies, a parliamentary panel said the proposed penalty and jail term for violation of the Pesticide Management Bill, 2020, are "essential" to check the sale of fake and spurious pesticides in the country. The Bill, which was vetted by the Parliament Standing Committee on Agriculture that tabled its report in the Lok Sabha, proposed monetary fines for the first two offences, while jail term of one year in case of a third conviction. The committee appreciate the government for incorporating such penal provisions, which will go a long way in ensuring safety and security to farmers/other end-users as well as the environment, the panel said in the report. The committee opined that the provisions in the Bill regarding offences and punishment are "essential" to ensure "deterrence", it said. The panel further said it is aware that the country is facing huge challenges of fake and spurious pesticides that affect the farmers. It has been suggested to the committee that stringent penal provisions should be there to counter this, it added. According to the panel, the agriculture ministry has also stated that the offences under this Bill are graded and only a third conviction attracts a higher penalty. Further, more serious offences like the sale of unlicensed or unregistered, banned pesticides attract a more stringent penalty.