BJP demands changes in Seeds Bill

Bhubaneswar, Jan 30 (PTI) Rejecting the Seeds Bill,2004, in its present form, the BJP today said it would stageagitation before district deputy-collector offices across thecountry on February 17.

"Farmers along with the partymen will submit memorandawith deputy-collectors addressing the union agricultureminister. We demand certain changes in the present form of thebill which is likely to be re-tabled in the Parliament in thebudget session," said BJP''s Kisan Morcha president Om PrakashDhankar.

Dubbing the Seeds Bill, 2004 as an "anti-farmer" and"pro-company", Dhankar claimed that passing of the bill wouldcurtail power of states.

"Under provision of the bill, a seeds committee willbe set up at the Centre to register all branded seeds. Thestate committee will only advice the central committee," hesaid.

The Bill is silent about prices of seeds and there isno provision in the present bill to impose limit on royalty tobe recovered on patented seeds by foreign companies, Dhankarsaid adding that there is no mention about the distributionsystem of seeds.

The BJP alleged that the draft of the Bill had beenprepared to safeguard the interest of the foreign companies.

"There is a Rs 50,000 crore business in the Indianseeds market," Dhankar pointed out adding that there was anapprehension on monopoly of certain companies.

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