New Delhi: The Pesticides Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India (PMFAI) on Wednesday demanded that the government in the forthcoming Budget should reduce GST to 5 per cent from the current 18 per cent on pesticides in line with other farm inputs like seeds and fertilisers.
That apart, the government should increase duty drawback (export benefits) of pesticides from the present 2 per cent to 13 per cent besides increasing import duty on technical and finished pesticides to 20-30 per cent to protect the domestic agro-chemicals industry, it said in a statement.
The PMFAI also urged the government to extend a financial support and other development assistance for developing technologies for intermediates and technical grade pesticides indigenously under 'Make in India' programme.
These were four key demands the PMFAI — which represents over 200 small, medium, and large-scale Indian pesticide manufacturers, formulators, and traders — made in a representation submitted to the Fertiliser and Chemicals Ministry, it added.
"The GST reduction will help bring three-fourth of the total farmers in India, who are outside the ambit now, protect their crops without causing any substantial loss to the central exchequer. This will help farmers harvest crops with minimal loss and secure better returns too, PMFAI President Pradip Dave said. Agriculture is the only sector which has shown resilience and grown 3.5-4 per cent in the last quarter. Considering the prevailing economic scenario, it calls for special focus and support for sustainable growth of Indian agriculture, he added.
The Union Budget will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. The Budget session of Parliament will start on January 29.—PTI