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Monstano JV in India under govt lens
21
Dec '15
There may be trouble for Monsanto in India. The Agriculture Ministry has asked fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) to investigate the alleged monopolistic practices of Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech (India) Ltd (MMBL), Monsanto's JV in India, Minister of State for Agriculture Mohanbhai Kundaria said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

The matter was referred to the CCCI following the representations from farmer bodies and National Seed Association of India (NSAI).

"Farmers organisations and NSAI had requested the Department (of Agriculture) to intervene to regulate royalty charges for Bt Cotton technology being charged by MMBL. The matter has also been referred to CCI to investigate the allegations of monopolistic practices of MMBL," the Minister said.

Kundaria said the Ministry has already issued an order under the Essential Commodities Act to regulate the cotton seed prices. In a notification issued on December 7, the Centre has decided to control prices of cotton seeds, including genetically modified versions, by fixing a uniform maximum sale price from March 2016.

It has also decided to fix and regulate the seed value and licensee fee, including royalty or trait value, according to the notification issued by the Agriculture Ministry.

At present, Bt cotton seeds are sold at different rates across the country. In Punjab and Haryana, it is priced at Rs 1,000 per packet of 450 grams, while it is Rs 830 in Maharasthra and Rs 930 in six states, including Andhra Pradesh. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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