Tamilnadu holds a key position in trade and export of botanicals used in medicine due its geographical position and well developed trade ports. In fact cultivation and conservation has always been a priority as much as the utilization of medicinal plants in the state.
Government Departments particularly Forest Department and Commercial Tax Departments have been proactive in bringing in regulation for facilitation of the medicinal plant sector. A review of the existing regulations both the central and state pertaining to the trade provide some more opportunity for further facilitation as this sector provides rural employment particularly in areas close to reserve forest.
The regulations and the bottlenecks were discussed jointly and individually with traders, exporters and growers and wherever required experts inputs and official/legal view points were sought and obtained from senior government officials.
The Key recommendations are
- Tamilnadu Forest Department to come out with area specific list of Medicinal plant part permitted to be collected by VFC members
- Issue of Origin certificate by Range officers in JFM area for non-forest wild collection and cultivation
- Ban on collection of select plants in a given area for a specific period to promote conservation and regeneration
- Provisions of Identity cards for VFC members for collection, restricting them to a given area.
- Suggestion to MoEF on revision of Negative list based on ground realities and to remove anomalies in export incentive schemes
Commercial Tax Department
· Publication of Tax exempted list with Botanical names along with Tamil and Sanskrit name as given in Govt of India Formularies of ISM
· Registration of VFC cooperatives and exempting them from Tax
· Exempting all cultivated medicinal plant materials from Tax by issuing orders under Tamilnadu VAT ACT 2006
Land Reforms Department
- Amendment in Tamilnadu Land Reforms (Fixation of Ceiling) Act 1961. to permit Crop diversification to medicinal plants in old Plantations.
Agricultural Marketing Department
- The Provisions of contract farming with authority to proceed against defaulter – either buyer or seller needs to be made by amending Tamilnadu Agricultural Marketing (Regulation) Act
- Explore the possibility of providing free transport passes for members of VFCs for the purpose of bringing medicinal plant material to consolidation centres
- To issue circulars to field officials to accept the weight mentioned in the certificate of origin or approved weigh bridge during transport in trucks