FICCI asked GST on pesticides to be lowered from 18% to 5% like it is for fertilizers.
Before the next GST Council meeting, which is scheduled for June 28-29, the industry group Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has asked that the goods and services tax (GST) on pesticides be lowered from 18% to 5%. This would make it the same as other inputs, like fertilizers and seeds.
‘Pesticides are important agricultural inputs that farmers need to keep their crops from dying and to keep their yields at the same level. Pesticides should have the same 5% GST rate as fertilizers,’ said RG Agarwal, head of the crop protection committee at FICCI, on Wednesday.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar is going to open the Agrochemicals Conference 2022: Policy Landscape for a Thriving Agrochemicals Industry, which is being put on by FICCI on Thursday.
Bring in technology
Agarwal also asked for the import duty on agrochemical formulations to be cut from 10% to 5%. This would help the country get new technology since it takes a lot of money to make just one molecule. He also asked the government to include the agrochemicals industry in the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme and make it easier for international manufacturing hubs to be set up.
He said that the industry has already asked the government about the need to import new pesticide technology as soon as possible to cut down on crop losses caused by climate change.
He also talked about the need to change regulations and speed up the registration of new, innovative molecules and the testing of pesticide samples by NABL-accredited labs. In many other developing countries, the clearance process takes less time.
The government has already said that pesticides are an area of focus, and Agarwal said that in order to attract new technology and investment from developed countries, it is important for Indian laws to be in line with international laws. He also said that it is time to take a second look at some parts of the Draft Pesticides Management Bill, 2020.