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Apr. 10, 2019

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Apr. 10, 2019

India Punjab govt looks into pesticide scam

Reacting to the Tribune report ‘Punjab smells fake pesticide sale scam’, the Punjab government has asked Moga District Magistrate Sandeep Hans to register a first information report (FIR) in the matter.

The government had ordered FIR under Section 420 of the IPC and Sections 3K-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 13 read with rule 10(4), 17, 18, 29, 33 of the Insecticides Act, 1968 and Sections 19, 20 of the Insecticides Rules at a local police station.

Further, the DM has been asked to issue directions to the police (investigating agency) to find out all the firms and individuals who were involved in the manufacturing and sale of fake pesticides in the state and take appropriate legal action against them.

The secretary of the Agriculture Department Kahan Singh Pannu has also asked the director of the department Swattantar Kumar Aery to constitute teams of senior officials and check all the pesticide manufacturing units, marketing companies and dealers across the state and collect samples of the pesticides for laboratory tests.

In a swift action, reacting to the orders, a team of the department headed by Joint Director Sukhdev Singh Sidhu on Tuesday went to Gidderbaha and Malout areas in Muktsar district and few areas of Fazilka district. They checked many pesticide manufacturing units and dealers and collected samples. However, the details were not immediately known.

Another team of the department headed by Assistant Plant Protection Officer Jaswinder Singh Brar raided many dealers in the Moga city and collected at least two samples each of chemical fertilisers and bio-fertilisers and three samples of pesticides. “We are sending these samples to our laboratory for testing,” he said.

Pannu added that the Punjab government would not allow anyone to sell spurious seeds, fertilisers and pesticides. “I have asked the director of agriculture department and all the district magistrates to check the manufacturing units and dealers across the state and take stern legal action against those found in cheating with the farmers by means of unfair trade practices.”

A pesticide scam of manufacturing, marketing, distributing, stocking and selling spurious/counterfeit products of Bayer Crop Science Limited, world’s premier seed and pesticide/insecticide marketing company, has came to light in Moga district.

The officials of the state agriculture department seized few bottles of ‘Fame’, a pesticide, marketed by the Bayer Company. The laboratory tests had confirmed that the product was spurious in nature. This pesticide was being manufactured at Saraswati Agro Chemicals India Private Limited, Dera Bassi (Punjab). The department has also issued a show-cause notice to this company, but the reply was awaited till the filing of this report.

The General Secretary of the BKU (Ekta) Sukhdev Singh Kokri has demanded from the government to take stern legal action against the officials and owners of Bayer Crop Science Limited and Saraswati Agro Chemicals India Private Limited Companies, respectively, because they had cheated the farmers and also indulged into unfair trade practices.

Meanwhile, it has come to the notice of the government that the manufacturing and marketing companies of seeds, fertilisers and pesticides were not giving prior information of the batch numbers of their products to the agriculture department before supplying them to their dealers and retail sellers, which is mandatory as per the Insecticides Act, 1968 and Insecticide Rules, 1971.

“If the counterfeit products of Bayer Crop Science Limited and Saraswati Agro Chemicals were being sold in the market then why these companies did not register an FIR against the fraudsters,” questioned Jaswinder Brar, Assistant Plant Protection Officer of Moga district.
Source: TRIBUNE

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