Mahyco is yet to receive the official communication from the Maharashtra Government on cancellation of its licence to sell Bt cotton seeds in the State.

In a press release, Mahyco said that it has complied with all the guidelines set by the Agriculture Department and has always provided the information sought by the Department.

The company said it would address the matter once it receives the communication from the Department.

Meanwhile, the State Government has filed a caveat in the Bombay High Court and the Aurangabad bench of the court to strengthen its legal position.

Maharashtra Government on Wednesday said it had banned Mahyc from selling Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) cotton seeds in the State.

Maharashtra Agriculture Commissioner Umakant Dangat told Business Line that the licence of Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company or Mahyco was cancelled as it had not provided a marketing plan to the Agriculture Department. The company’s seed distributors were found to be indulging in black-marketing and creating artificial shortage of seeds in Maharashtra, Dangat said.

He said that Mahyco had been granted adequate hearings on the issue and that the principle of natural justice was followed before passing the order. The Commissioner said that with the ban in Maharashtra, Mahyco’s seed inventory would have to be sold outside the State.

The alleged case of black-marketing against Mahyco surfaced in May, when cotton farmers in Beed district were forced to pay higher prices for Bt cotton seeds. An FIR was filed against company officials in Beed.

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena MLA Uttamrao Dhikale had raised the issue in the recently-concluded monsoon session of the State Legislature.

rahul.wadke@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 10, 2012)
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