Farmers' groups flag loopholes in proposed legislation on pesticides management, demand withdrawal of draft Bill



NEW DELHI: Proposed Pesticides Management Bill, which seeks to replace the Insecticides Act of 1968, has come under attack from farmers’ groups who believe that the draft legislation in its present form falls significantly short in protecting the interests of common citizens, including farm workers, consumers, and their environment. In a written submission to the agriculture ministry on Monday, they flagged several loopholes in the draft Bill and demanded withdrawal of the proposed legislation in its present form. 

Though the Bill provides for strengthening penalty clauses for various violations including misuse of pesticides and even includes provisions of compensation for farmers or affected persons, the farm activists noted that the penalties have been laid down for ‘users’ too — it means the legislation could end up punishing farmers or farm workers who use spurious pesticides. 

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