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House panel rejects demand for data protection provision in pesticide Bill

The Standing Committee on Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Processing, headed by BJP member P C Gaddigoudar, in its report said the non-inclusion of the data protection provision in the Bill will not only “protect” the domestic industry but also farmers.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: December 22, 2021 5:11:33 am
P C Gaddigoudar (File)

A Parliamentary Standing Committee has rejected the pesticide industry’s demand for the inclusion of a data protection provision in the Pesticide Management Bill, 2020.

The Standing Committee on Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Processing, headed by BJP member P C Gaddigoudar, in its report said that the non-inclusion of the data protection provision in the Bill will not only “protect” the domestic industry but also farmers.

The Pesticide Management Bill, 2020, was referred to the Standing Committee in June this year. Its report was presented in Lok Sabha Tuesday.

“The Committee have deliberated over the arguments raised by both the sides. The Committee appreciate the fact that ‘No Provision’ of Data Protection for the introduction of New Molecules/ Products has been consciously incorporated in the Pesticide Management Bill, 2020 by the Government as it will not only protect the domestic industry which primarily relies on production of the ‘Generic Pesticides’ but also the farmers, who will be benefitted by the availability of cheaper pesticides,” the report said.

“The Committee also believe that India has a very large and growing market of Agrochemicals and with huge arable land, it will be able to attract introduction of New Molecules from Foreign as well as Domestic Companies even without provision for any Data Protection,” it said.

“The Committee feel totally convinced by the arguments advanced by the Government that the Patent period of 20 years is sufficient for inventors to gain benefits for the investments made in discovery/introduction of New Molecules provided that New Molecules are introduced within the Patent Period in the Country,” it added.

The committee has also recommended minimum qualification for Sellers/Dealers/Stockiests, etc. of Pesticides.

“The Committee believe that farmers usually buy those pesticides which are recommended by the retailers hence minimum qualification standards need to be provided for. The Committee, therefore, recommend that suitable qualifications, but not less than Higher Secondary in Science/ Agriculture/ Horticulture streams may be prescribed for Sellers/Dealers/ Stockiests, etc., of Pesticides,” the report said.

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