The CCFI has expressed its major apprehension that in spite of being a trade surplus Champion industry, there has been a major surge in agrochemical imports as evident from the figures below:
Readymade formulations constitute almost 53% of the imports primarily by MNCs and traders for resale which needs to be stopped.
Presently, import tariffs for formulations are at the same level as that of the Technical grade i.e. both at 10% (Reference chapter 29 & 38 of Customs Tariff), resulting in no incentives for establishing manufacturing activities in India. Import of formulation is mostly done by MNCs and traders who do not have their own or limited manufacturing facilities in India, depending mostly on tollers for just repacking, with their major plants in China or elsewhere.
The association strongly feels that any change in custom duty on import would not impact the farmers price as already the imported products are resold on exorbitant price 2 to 2.5 times more expensive as compared to manufacturing them in India and used mainly for resale at profits upto 200% by the importers.
″ CCFI members are crusaders of Government policy towards ″Atmanirbhar Bharat″ through Make in India. All the manufacturers have manufacturing plants with Research & Development facilities to make quality products meeting global specification resulting in Indian members accounting for over 80% of the exports to 130 countries earning valuable foreign exchange″ Mr Mehta explained.
The association had already represented to Nodal Ministries that import of Formulation without registering Technical is not permissible in several developed countries like USA, E.U, Brazil, Australia, Argentina and even China.
On the other hand a Formulation manufactured in a foreign country is neither monitored nor the Technical is checked for its quality. It is quite likely that a formulation may contain expired Technical. This is a huge risk to human/ animal health, environment and product efficacy.
Our RTI compilation found that 97.3% of the samples tested during last 5 years at accredited laboratories on all India basis met quality speculations.
Hon Agriculture minister Shri Narender Tomar has confirmed in Lok sabha on 15th Sept 2020 (Parliamentary Question 390) that out of 338282 samples drawn only 3971 were not meeting specifications (The figure works out to be 1.171% of samples found substandard during last 5 years).
Even during inter Ministerial meeting with Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers it was reiterated that there should be a delta of at least 10% in custom duty on import of Formulation and Technicals.
The association has always been pressing on an imposition of 30% duty on import of all ready made formulations and 20% custom duty on import of all Technical grades for agrochemical industry as Indian manufacturers have the technical capability and the unutilised capacity ~ 35% to manufacture in India.