In the name insecticide, spray oil have been supplied for horticulture purpose by big oil firms unauthorized after indulging in unlawful manufacturing, sale and store without seeking license from requisite authorities.
According to information about 60 lakh liter of such products have been dumped in the state which claims Rs. 80 crore transaction with lakhs of apple growers in this hill state.
Letter had been issued by Union Agriculture secretary Ashish Bahuguna on May 2, 2013, to erstwhile chief secretary Sudripto Roy warning the state such illicit trade.
Union Ministry had made it clear that some states were promoting unregistered and unauthorized insecticides which had not been approved by Registrar committee. It emphatically said that such products were being approved by many agriculture and horticulture universities none of them can allow such trade in the states and it is clear violation of Insecticide Act 1968.
Under aforesaid act no officer or scientists of any universities were recommending such insecticides which could make it authorized for supply in the market.
Promotion and use of such insecticides without prior permission is not contra-violation of laid down rule but it was posing threat to the human beings, animals and environment, the letter cautioned.
Sources revealed that such circular has been issued to Government of J&K, now clamped ban on such illicit oil spray products after issuing notification about it but it was openly running with consent of state agriculture and horticulture authority in state of Himachal Pradesh and probable Uttarakhand.
Annually public sector oil firms were supplying this spray-oil which is not certified whether it is effective or not as insecticides more over it was not approved by Central insecticide board to recommend for the farmers.
In Himachal Pradesh, the state sector firms like Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Marketing and Processing Corporation(HPMC) and Himfed were involved in the supply of such spray product to farmers after procuring it from renown oil firms like Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and other oil firms while none of them got sale license to supply it for insecticide purpose.
Deputy Director of State Horticulture Department Hem Raj Sharma confirmed that it had not issued any license to sell spray oil in the market for insecticide purpose.
He accepted to find out those dealing in this illicit trades and raid would be conducted to nail down this business. Mr. Sharma also said that Central Insecticide Board (CIB) has not approved any such oils to use as insecticides.
HPMC DGM (Marketing) Surinder Chauhan said that agency was selling two to three crore spray oil after purchasing it form Hindustan Petroleum. He informed that HPMC has already written to HP to register this product with CIB which shows that this trade is being very much in the mind of the state government and it was being deliberately undermine to give benefit to vested interest and which is a big scam with lakhs of apple growers.
When Indian Oil Divisional Manager Naginder Singh was contacted to give response over this trade, he said that he was not dealing with matter as senior Manager of IOL Manoj K Singh could explain about the issue but when written query were given to Mr. Singh he did not respond.
The question is whether this spray was being used have any impact on the crop or apple growers, who were using it without any purpose. According to Insecticide Act 1968 sale of any insecticide should have required manufacturing, sale, stock and trade licenses which had not been issued to any firm so far.
Apple is backbone of hill economy as it cater livelihood of 2.50 lakh households as farmers got contribution to state domestic product to tune of Rs. 3000 crore which is 18 percent of GSDP.