BJP demands changes in Seeds Bill
Bhubaneswar: Rejecting the Seeds Bill, 2004, in its present form, the BJP today said it would stage agitation before district deputy-collector offices across the country on February 17.
"Farmers along with the partymen will submit memoranda with deputy-collectors addressing the union agriculture minister. We demand certain changes in the present form of the bill which is likely to be re-tabled in the Parliament in the budget session," said BJP`s Kisan Morcha president Om Prakash Dhankar.
Dubbing the Seeds Bill, 2004 as an "anti-farmer" and "pro-company", Dhankar claimed that passing of the bill would curtail power of states.
"Under provision of the bill, a seeds committee will be set up at the Centre to register all branded seeds. The state committee will only advice the central committee," he said.
The Bill is silent about prices of seeds and there is no provision in the present bill to impose limit on royalty to be recovered on patented seeds by foreign companies, Dhankar said adding that there is no mention about the distribution system of seeds.
The BJP alleged that the draft of the Bill had been prepared to safeguard the interest of the foreign companies.
"There is a Rs 50,000 crore business in the Indian seeds market," Dhankar pointed out adding that there was an apprehension on monopoly of certain companies.
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