AMENDMENTS SOUGHT IN THE PESTICIDE MANAGEMENT BILL, 2020 BEFORE IT IS PASSED IN PARLIAMENT
The following are some key amendments sought in the Pesticides Management Bill 2020, which has been tabled as Bill No XXII of 2020, to be passed in Rajya Sabha sometime in/after the week starting from Sep 14th 2020 during the Monsoon Session.
• STATE GOVERNMENT EMPOWERMENT: Empower state governments to prohibit pesticides indefinitely as per their need, evidence and experience, and amend the expediency clause which allows only Union control on regulation. (Sec. 2 and Sec. 35);
• RIGOROUS REGISTRATION SYSTEMS: Ensure that decision about registration gets taken only after transparent, independent scrutiny of information on need, alternatives and long-term comprehensive biosafety of a pesticide, by adopting a precautionary approach, that too of pesticides that are not in WHO Class I and II categories of hazard of acute toxicity and not known carcinogens/teratogens/endocrine disruptors, not banned in three or more countries elsewhere etc. (Sec. 17 and Sec. 18);
• INDEPENDENT REGISTRATION: Ensure that there is absolutely no conflict of interest in the regulatory regime (Sec. 10);
• EFFECTIVE COMPENSATION MECHANSISMS FOR FARMERS & OTHER AFFECTED PERSONS: Polluter Pays principle should be embedded within the statute, including for redressal, remediation and compensation to affected (Sec. 34)
• BOARD TO BE EMPOWERED AND NOT JUST ADVISORY: Making the Central Pesticides Board into an empowered regulatory body rather than being only advisory (Sec.8)
• REVIEW OF PESTICIDES TO BE SEPARATED FROM REGISTRATION: Ensure the task of pesticide registration review falls to a separate Review Committee which functions independently of Registration Committee (Sec. 14, Sec. 15 and Sec. 22)