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No unbridled power vested in Indian pesticide registration committee under PMB: Gowdaqrcode

Feb. 18, 2021

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Feb. 18, 2021

The government's main focus in the Pesticides Management Bill (PMB) is to ensure supply of safe and effective pesticides and it has not vested "unbridled power" in the Registration Committee that reviews the pesticide registrations in the country, Parliament was informed.

Fertiliser Minister Sadananda Gowda, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, said the thrust of the bill is also to minimise risk of pesticides to human beings, animals, living organisms other than pests, and the environment.      

"Therefore, keeping this thrust in perspective, the PMB confers on the Registration Committee the power to review, suspend and cancel registration or ban a pesticide, on specific grounds...following due procedure and giving an opportunity of being heard to the holder of the certificate of registration," he said.      

The specific grounds are -- efficacy and safety; adverse impact of pesticide on health of human beings, other living organisms or the environment; if the risk posed by pesticide outweighs its benefits; and change in status of its registration, restriction or ban in other countries.

"Therefore, the powers vested on the Registration Committee are not unbridled but qualified by provisions of the Bill," the minister said.    

Further, there is also a remedy of an appeal to the central government against the decision of the Registration Committee, he added.    

The minister also made it clear that PMB does not mandate re-registration by a manufacturer after every two years.      

In fact, the PMB provides that insecticides registered under the Insecticides Act, 1968 "shall be deemed to be registered under the provisions of PMB for a maximum period of two years from the date of commencement of the Act and before the expiry of this period the holder of the certificate of registration of such insecticide shall make an application within six months from the date of commencement of the new Act for registration of the pesticide."

"This is only a one-time requirement in a facilitative manner so that all existing registrants under the Insecticides Act, 1968 are recorded and brought under the PMB. There is no provision of re-registration after every two years thereafter," he added.      

On allowing export of banned pesticides, the minister said out of the 50 pesticides/formulations banned for use in India, the Agriculture Ministry on the recommendation of the Registration Committee has allowed the manufacture for export of five pesticides only.      

Nicotine Sulphate, Captafol 80 per cent powder for dry seed treatment, Dichlorvos, Phorate and Triazophos are allowed for export to other countries which approve their use.      

"This permission has been granted for three years, subject to certain conditions and on a case to case basis on the application of the manufacturing companies/firms," the minister said.

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