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Fifty Fifth Annual General Meeting of PMFAI Held in Mumbai on December 22

The Fifty Fifth Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the Industry Meet of Pesticides Manufacturers & Formulators Association of India (PMFAI) was held on December 22, 2023 in Mumbai

Aysha Anam

PMFAI’s Industry Meet was well attended by distinguished members from Agrochemicals, Biological, and allied products Industries.  The proceedings of the Industry Meet commenced with a Welcome Address by PMFAI President Mr. Pradip Dave giving a detailed account of PMFAI's efforts to safeguard the interests of the Indian Pesticides Industry.

In the AGM, Mr. Pradip Dave, PMFAI Secretary Dr. Samir Dave, and Treasurer Mr. Ketan Mehta briefed members about PMFAI efforts during the year 20222-23 key of which included–

PMFAI efforts began in the year 2011 with a policy decision for “mandatory registration of Technical Grade Pesticides in India” before granting registrations for pesticide formulations for imports or indigenous manufacture.  PMFAI efforts finally met results by approval of the policy decision taken by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Central Insecticides Board & Registration Committee (CIB&RC) in December 2022.  Mr Pradip Dave said the policy decision will help the registration of more technical-grade products in India for indigenous manufacturers, which ultimately will lead to an increase in the product portfolio of Indian companies, particularly MSMEs, and an increase in exports from India.

Though the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture submitted its reports on “The Pesticides Management Bill 2020” to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in December 2021, the major concern left out in the report was provisions in the Bill for harsh punishments and penalties proposed under Offences and Punishments” on which PMFAI has submitted to Government for relaxations to minimum levels.  PMFAI also appealed Government for the de-criminalization of minor non-compliances in the sector for “Ease of Doing business”.

Earlier in the year 2020, the Government had proposed banning of 27 pesticides which included many popular products used in India and in countries all over the world. Objections and suggestions by PMFAI and joint efforts with other stakeholders finally led to the ban being restricted to four products viz. Dinocap, Dicofol, Methomyl, and Monocrotophos 36 SL formulation.

Considering PMFAI’s continuous dialogue with various Ministries of Government to properly control and regulate imports, the Government considered the suggestion for separate HS code classification of Technical Grade Pesticides and Formulation products.  In India, all products of Agrochemicals / Pesticides both Technical Grade Products and Formulations have been classified under Customs Tariff Head 3808, and the majority of the products (almost 95%) fall under the “Others” category which has been badly impacting indigenous manufacturing sector.

Mr. Pradip Dave said, that PMFAI now expects Government to levy higher and differential customs duty structure for Imports of Technicals and Formulations in the forthcoming budget.

PMFAI with the support from the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare strongly opposed the proposal made by the European Union for listing the popular herbicide “CHLORPYRIFOS” in Annexure-A of the Stockholm Convention of POPs. Strong defense by PMFAI led to the POPRC Review Committee seeking further Annexure-D information on socio-economic considerations from member countries and for review in 2024.

Stringent and unreasonable Environmental standards proposed to be enforced by the Ministry of Environment and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), have been a major concern for the Agrochemical industry. India already has a robust regulatory framework for effluent discharge norms, particularly for the Pesticide industry especially when compared with other developed regimes like US-EPA.  PMFAI is in continuous interaction with CPCB and the Ministry of Environment to revise the standards to achievable limits.

Recent Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Bills proposing new laws for Agri Inputs industries unfairly propose to introduce laws to criminalize Agri Inputs industries by amending Central Acts for inclusion of prosecution and imprisonment terms, as the new proposed law proposes for “cognizable and nonbailable” provisions and making provisions to compensate farmers for crop failures and losses caused by adulterated, non-standard or misbranded seeds, fertilizers, and insecticides. PMFAI jointly working with other industry associations has appealed for the withdrawal of the Bills and harsh laws proposed under the Bills.

PMFAI Annual Meet also highlighted PMFAI’s continuous efforts to contribute to social causes by providing financial assistance for education by way of scholarships to children of Farmers pursuing graduation and post-graduation courses in Agriculture and equivalent studies and to provide health care assistance to Farmers and farmers’ families.

PMFAI Members and the industry representatives present at the Industry Meet appreciated PMFAI's efforts in the best interests of Indian Agriculture; the Farming community and the Indian Agrochemical industry.

Pradip Dave also reminded all industry members about the 19th edition of the “International Crop Science Conference & Exhibition (ICSCE 2024)” organised by PMFAI in Dubai on 8th & 9th February 2024 at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai, which is one of the major global events for Agrochemicals, Bological products and allied products industry. Last ICSCE 2023 Dubai witnessed excellent participation of over 1300 delegates from across the globe.

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