OVER 20,000 pesticides and fertilizer dealers across the state Tuesday shut their shops to observe a daylong strike against the union government’s recent notification which asks dealers to be agriculture graduates in the next two years.
The notification was issued in November 2015 in which dealers were told to get B.Sc Agriculture degrees in next two years if they want new license or renewal of licenses. The degree course is, however, of four years. As of now, renewal of licenses has been stopped.
The call for strike was given by All India Pesticides and Fertilizers’ Association. Suresh Satija, president, Abohar Pesticide and Fertilizer Dealers’ Association said, “The licenses are renewed for a period of two years and this year nearly 10,000 licences are to be renewed and the papers are lying in the offices of agriculture department of different districts. However, renewal has been withheld for the time being because of the current notification.”
He added: “The notification is arbitrary as a large number of dealers are into this profession for more than 35-40 years and hence it is not justified to ask them to get B.Sc degree now and that too in two years while the course is of four years.”
They can put this condition for the new license applications, and some refresher courses can be planned for the existing ones so that their business is not affected, said Rajeev Rasewat, president, state’s Pesticide and Fertilizer Association.
If licenses are not renewed, the dealers will have to shut their shops, which will amount to huge loss to their ongoing business, said Satija.
Meanwhile, the association members are scheduled to have a meeting with the union agriculture Minister on February 23 in New Delhi and a strike had been called before that so as to build up their case before the Minister.
The Fertilizer Control Act 1985 and Insecticide Act 1968 were framed and amended by the union government. The onus of its implementation falls on the state’s agriculture department. The association is also planning to move court against notification, told Satija.