New Delhi: The government has drafted a bill which seeks setting up of a biotechnology regulatory authority to regulate manufacture, import and use of organisms and products of modern bio-technology.
The draft Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India bill, 2012, aims to set up an autonomous regulatory body comprising a chairperson, two whole-time members and two part-time members, Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Replying to a question that when the watchdog would be set up, Rawat said, "No time frame can be given for establishment of the said authority at this stage."
The draft bill provides for setting of inter-ministerial governing board to oversee the performance of the Authority and a National Biotechnology Advisory Council of stakeholders to provide feedback on use of organisms and products of biotechnology in society, he said.
Rawat further said that the bill also provides for an elaborate risk assessment process involving scientific panels of experts and representatives of concerned ministries including special public review system for evaluation of applications before final approvals.
Since biotech crop commercialisation in 1996, farmers in 29 countries have adopted the technology.
India allowed commercial cultivation of Bt cotton in 2002. However, it has put moratorium on Bt brinjal since February 2010.