Pitching for urgent reforms in the agro-chemicals sector, Dhanuka Agritech Group Chairman RG Agarwal on Wednesday demanded that the government should reduce goods and services tax (GST) on pesticides to five per cent from the current 18 per cent in line with farm inputs like seeds and fertilisers.

Agarwal also urged the government to bring the agro-chemicals sector under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme and facilitate the setting up of international manufacturing hubs.

“Pesticides are key agri-inputs required for reducing crop losses. It is necessary to reduce the GST on pesticides to 5 per cent at par with other farm inputs like seeds and fertilisers,” Agarwal told reporters.

Even import duty on agrochemical formulations needs to be reduced to 5 per cent from the current 10 per cent, he said.

That apart, there is a need to import new pesticide technology on a priority basis to reduce the crop losses faced due to changes in climate in the country, he added.

Agarwal, who is also Ficci Crop Protection Committee Chairman, stressed the need to bring regulatory reforms and fasten the registration process of new innovative molecules and testing of pesticides samples by NABL-accredited labs.

He also urged the government to take stringent measures against the sale of spurious pesticides.

Former Agriculture Commissioner CD Mayee said there is a need to promote agriculture extension to help farmers deal with the challenges faced due to pest attacks amid the rise in temperature and other climate change challenges. PTI LUX BAL BAL

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