STAY ON THE FIXED PRICE OF BT COTTON BY THE HC

The Central Government notification dated 8th March 2016 fixing of the trait value of BG-I and BG-II variety of Bt Cotton has been stayed by the Karnataka High Court.

Association Of Biotechnology along with Namdhari Seeds Pvt.Ltd. had filed a writ petition before the Karnataka High Court challenging the notification of March 8.The Petitioners contended that the Essential Commodities Act only empowers the Government to fix the maximum sale price of the commodity but does not allow it to fix price of the components within the sale price ,especially the license fee. The Court agreed with the Petitioners and granted a temporary stay.

Earlier, the Ministry of Agriculture had issued a price control order conferring the power on the Central Government to impose a maximum price on the sale of Bt cotton. It also vested in the Government the power to fix the trait value which biotechnology companies charge for the purpose of genetically modifying the cotton seeds produced by Indian seed manufacturers. Based on this order, the Ministry of Agriculture on March 8th had fixed the maximum sale price and trait values of BG-I and BG-II variety of Bt Cotton.

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