18 May 2023, New Delhi: Crop Care Federation of India submitted a detailed proposal to the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers in 2020 for the inclusion of Agrochemicals under the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) post stakeholder consultation.
Recently, the Industry body has made a representation to the Finance Minister seeking her intervention citing several issues which are plaguing Indian manufacturers. The situation has become alarming due to a surge in agrochemical imports, majorly readymade pesticide formulations by traders who clandestinely importing not for their captive consumption but for merchant sale, which is not officially permissible.
The imports of agrochemicals have increased by 65% from Rs. 9,096 crores (2019-20) to Rs. 15,000 crores (est.) during 2022-23. Interestingly 55% of these are readymade formulations requiring no value addition or any capital investment.
Trade Surplus of Rs. 30,000 crores
Briefing the media Mr. Harish Mehta, Senior Advisor CCFI said “Whenever Indian manufacturers have produced molecules that were previously imported by MNCs, price reduction has been between 50-80%. The importers make huge profits from these imported formulations causing unnecessary burdens on the foreign exchange outgo. Agrochemical is one of those sectors where there is a Trade Surplus of Rs. 30,000 crores (2022-23).”
CCFI has further assured the Finance Minister that Indian manufacturers plan to invest more than 12,000 crores in the next 3 years provided the proposal is implemented as per industry recommendation.
The detailed dossier submitted has 35 intermediates in terms of their market size, potential and future growth. It had a listing of 81 technicals imported majorly by MNCs, including about 31 technicals being imported despite having indigenous manufacturing capacities.
“Lastly of concern are 89 readymade formulations being imported which can be manufactured in India. CCFI members are of the firm view that there should be a delta of 10% between the custom duty on the import of technical and formulation. This would be a deterrent to reduce imports and encourage indigenous manufacturing in their expansion plans and future fresh investment” said Mr. Harish Mehta.
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