By: Nagesh Prabhu
In a move that will allow fixing the sales price of transgenic and Bt cotton seeds, the Assembly on Friday passed the Karnataka Transgenic and Genetically Modified Cotton Seeds (Fixation of Sale Price and Payment of Compensation) Bill, 2015.
There is no provision in the present seed laws to fix price for cotton seeds. The Bill also makes a provision to compensate farmers in case of failure of transgenic and genetically-modified cotton crops, by fixing the responsibility on seed producers to compensate farmers suitably, thus mitigating hardship.
Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda tabled the Bill and said during 2013 kharif season, transgenic and genetically-modified cotton crop failed on 60,450 hectares in Haveri, Dharwad, Belagavi, Chitradurga, Davangere, and Ballari districts.
It was very difficult to provide compensation to aggrieved farmers, as there were no provisions in the existing laws to compensate them in case of crop failure. As a special case, the government had compensated the farmers with Rs. 36.35 crore, he said.
The present seed laws implemented in the State are enacted by the Union government. Amendments in this regard and other lacunae to the present central seed legislation were proposed by the State government to the Centre in the last two decades, but it is yet to be passed.
The Assembly passed the Karnataka State Motor Vehicle (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015, to grant permission to private bus operators to run services on routes that are not covered by the KSRTC. The Bill will enable the government to grant temporary permits to private bus operators to start carriage vehicles in areas approved by the government.
Originally Published: The Hindu