Surge in imports for non-essential agrochemicals mainly by traders for resale and by MNCs needs to be stopped
The Crop Care Federation of India (CCF) has sought intervention of Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar to control the import of agrochemicals to India. In a letter to Tomar, the Federation stated that the import of agrochemicals has increased from Rs 9,096 crores to Rs 12,418 crore, reflecting a growth of 37% in 2019-2020 and 2020-21. During the same period, the exports increased from Rs 23,757 crore to Rs 26, 513 crores, reflecting a growth of 12%.
“Imports are growing much faster than exports, draining out valuable foreign exchange. Surge in imports for non-essential agrochemicals mainly by traders for resale and by MNCs ( Rs 6500cr ) as readymade formulations is increasing over the years with and needs to be stopped,” Harish Mehta, Senior Advisor, CCFI, wrote in the letter to the Minister.
Hence, the CCFI sought the Minister’s intervention to recommend:
1. An increase in customs duty @30% on Formulation imports as vested interests tend to downplay the adverse effects" of rising imports and reducing trade surplus.
2. We are confident that Agriculture Ministry would take up this issue to allow us to follow the policy of Atmanirbhar Bharat & “Make in India” initiative to which our members are committed. This generates not only employment but promotes local MSMEs
3. Indian corporates have adequate capacity in manufacturing liquids, granules, WP and grain storage chemicals to the extent of 30-35% which can be ramped up exponentially
4. Indian manufacturers have technical capability for taking up both existing molecules and newer advanced agrochemicals required by domestic industry and exports
5. Though over dependence on China has been instrumental in increased imports, volume of scale in India would facilitate in offering Indian farmers pesticides at affordable prices. CIBRC has to play a critical role to curb this unnecessary import.
6. Needless to mention the margin on imported proprietary Formulations is as high as 200%, fleecing the farming community over the years, hampering their effort of doubling their income.
7. We have already submitted industry proposal to Agriculture, Chemicals & Commerce ministries to include Agrochemicals under Production linked incentive (PLI) scheme with complete list of intermediates, Technicals & formulations that can be made in India during December 2020 for your active consideration.
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