AP Seed Bill in cold storage

AP Seed Bill in cold storage
Highlights

Ap is the first State in country to draft Seed Bill Centre raises serious objections as it duplicates...

  • Ap is the first State in country to draft Seed Bill
  • Centre raises serious objections as it duplicates Union Bill
  • Seeds association says all provisions already existing
  • Farmers' associations also oppose
Patan Afzal Babu Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh Government, which claims to have brought first Seed Bill at State level in the country, has put the much awaiting "Andhra Pradesh Seed Bill 2012" in cold storage after the Centre asked the State to abandon its plans to bring a separate Bill. Seed
After coming to know the State government was preparing the Bill, the Union Agriculture Ministry has recently written a letter to the State informing that the Centre is coming out with a similar Bill. The objection raised by the Union Ministry was most of the features in the State Seed Bill had already figured in the existing parliamentary enactments such as the Seeds Act 1966, Seeds Rules 1968, the Essential Commodities Act 1955 and the Seeds (Control) Order 1983. The other proposals in the State Bill � regulation of retail prices of seeds, royalty component in the case of transgenic seeds, mandatory that every seed producer should register and meet the specifications prescribed by the State government in terms of infrastructure, equipment and qualified man power, were also included in the National Seed Bill which has been waiting for parliamentary approval since 2004. Top officials in the State Agriculture department told The Hans India that, under these circumstances, " the Parliamentary enactments in similar matters take precedence over the State laws as per the Article 254 (1) of the Constitution. Unless State enactments get the assent of the President of India, the enactment made by the Centre prevails," the officials said, adding though agriculture is State subject, the government should seek the nod of President to approve the Bill and bring a legislation in the Assembly. Taking a serious note of it, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy instructed the State Law Department where the Bill has been pending for final approval to stop the process of finalizing it until further orders from CMO (Chief Minister's Office). Meanwhile, farmers' associations and seed production companies are also opposing the Bill on the ground it is anti- farmer and against the Central acts. AP Seeds Association Secretary S Venkat Reddy said the association had already forwarded a letter to the State and Union Agriculture Ministry opposing the State Bill. He raised serious objections to the State Bill as all its provisions such as regulation of sale of seed, registration of kinds and varieties of seeds and export and import of seeds have already been covered in the existing Central enactment . He said the State government has got no powers to regulate royalty as mentioned in the draft Bill. All India Kisan Majdoor Sabha Secretary U Prabhakar said the Bill was against the interest of farmers who produce seeds. Farmers need to register with the government and pay money to produce seeds once the Bill is enacted. He said under the new Act, farmers will lose their rights on the seeds produced by them. Without government's acceptance, farmers should not supply seeds to others. The Bill is aimed to benefiting the corporate seed companies only, he added.
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