Prelims level : Governance - Schemes Mains level : GS-II Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these Vulnerable Sections.
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Why in News?

  • Union Cabinet has recently approved “The Pesticides Management Bill, 2020”. Currently, the pesticide business is regulated by rules under the Insecticides Act 1968.

Objectives of the Bill:

  • The Bill aims at regulating the business of pesticides and compensating farmers in case of losses from the use of agrochemicals.
  • Agrochemicals imply chemicals used in agriculture, such as a pesticide or fertilizer.

Key Features of the Bill:

1. Empowering Farmers through Information:

  • It will empower farmers by providing them with all the information about the strength and weakness of pesticides, the risk and alternatives. All information will be available openly as data in digital format and in all languages.

2. Compensation:

  • The Bill has a unique feature in the form of a provision for compensations in case there is any loss because of the spurious or low quality of pesticides.
  • If required, a central fund will be formed to take care of the compensations.

3. Registration of Pesticide Manufacturers:

  • All pesticide manufacturers have to be registered and bound by the new Act, once it is passed. The advertisements of pesticides will be regulated so there should be no confusion or no cheating by the manufacturers.

4. Organic Pesticides:

  • The Bill also intends to promote organic pesticides.

Usage and ill-impact of Pesticides in India:

  • India is among the leading producers of pesticides in Asia. In the domestic market, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana are among the states with the highest recorded consumption.
  • Spurious Agrochemicals are responsible for the losses of not just farmers but also producers of genuine agrochemicals and the government, which loses revenue from the sales of the counterfeit versions of the real farm inputs. They harm crop, soil fertility and the environment.

About Insecticides Act, 1968:

  • It was passed in 1971 with a view of regulating the import, manufacture, sale, transport, distribution and use of insecticides in order to prevent risk to human beings and animals.
  • This act brings in Central Insecticides Board which works under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
  • The board advises the central government and state governments on technical matters arising out of the administration of the act and to carry out the other functions assigned to it.
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