Crop Protection

CCFI submits pre-budget representation to the government over surging agrochemical imports

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15 November 2021, New Delhi: Crop Care Federation of India (CCFI) made a formal representation on pre-budget proposals for the agrochemical industry for the year 2022–23 focusing on the theme of Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India).

The association which has 50 agrochemical corporate members having manufacturing facilities in India and distribution network on pan India basis had highlighted on curbing non-essential imports.

In a communication sent by Ms Nirmala Pathrawal, Executive Director, CCFI to Dr PK Meherda, Joint Secretary, Plant Protection department under Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, has expressed her concern on surging imports from China, Japan, USA and Europe which are hampering the Indian manufacturing activities.

Highlighting concerns for the sector, Ms. Pathrawal mentioned, “There has been a 37% growth in imports from ₹9,096 cr in 2019-20 to ₹12,410 cr in 2020-21 in agrochemicals which is a cause of concern for both the industry and the government. This inflow of imports is hampering the production of Indian manufacturers. To safeguard the Indian manufacturers, it is necessary to implement the concept of differential duty on intermediates, technical and formulations, as adopted by various countries. When manufactured in India, the cost of the products will reduce significantly in the range of 50-80%.

Presently the custom duty on Technical and Formulations is 10% which is a disincentive for any indigenous manufacturer who has huge investment and deployment of labour.

The product quality of Indian manufactures are of global standards and are already being exported to 130 countries with acceptable specifications.

Formulations are being imported in India in sizeable quantities/value at the cost of foreign exchange and importers are making huge profits (up to 200%) from these imported formulations. Sadly the profits are repatriated to the originating foreign country.

It would be worthwhile to mention that the Indian agrochemical industry has the technical capability and unutilised capacity of about 35% in liquids, granules and wettable powders to meet both domestic demand and exports. These exports are made majorly (90%+) by only Indian agrochemical manufacturers, most of whom are CCFI members

In India, out of the 280 molecule registered, only 85 are majorly consumed out of which almost 45 Technical’s are manufactured in our Country.

Mr Harish Mehta senior advisor CCFI, reacting to the pre-budget proposals mentioned that, “On analysing the import data, we found that out of total imports, 53% was the share of ready-made formulations imported (in value), which would rise further unless stringent measures are not taken expeditiously.

The industry is of the view that non-essential imports should be stopped and simultaneously the customs duty on Imports of Technical Grade should be enhanced from present 10% to 20%. Likewise, custom duty on ready-made formulations should be increased from the present 10% to 30% to safeguard the Indian Industry. Formulation import entails no value addition, investment or employment. Its a trend adopted by MNCs and commodity traders who do not have their own manufacturing plants in India.

“The agrochemical industry has reached a turnover of ₹55,000 cr out of which ₹30,000 cr is exports to 130 countries with matching quality specifications, which is a matter of pride” said Mr Mehta.

CCFI members are committed to take forward the policy of ‘MAKE IN INDIA’ towards Atmanirbhar Bharat. Indian companies have established world class Research & Development centers to develop safe and effective new molecules and are capable to manage the required demand.

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