Pricing of Bt cottonseed

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Joining forces


Two important

issues of pricing of Bt cottonseed and the legal tangle over the pricing would come up for discussion.

While the

ministers of Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra have confirmed their participation, top officials of the ministries would represent their states.

Hyderabad, June 8

Joining forces with the Andhra Pradesh Government, seven cotton growing States in the country are likely to arrive at a consensus in waging the legal battle with Monsanto over the pricing of Bt cottonseed.

When agriculture ministers and top officials of these States gather here on Friday, two important issues of pricing of Bt cottonseed and the legal tangle over the pricing would come up for discussion.

The meeting would be chaired by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. While the ministers of Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra have confirmed their participation, top officials of the ministries would represent their states.

MRTPC interim order

The Andhra Pradesh Government has convened the meeting in the wake of MRTPC's (Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission) interim order asking Monsanto not to charge exorbitant trait value, and the Supreme Court's refusal to grant stay on the Andhra Pradesh Government's May order, mandating seed manufacturers to fix the price (for a 450-gm packet) not beyond Rs 750.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, the Minister for Agriculture and Civil Supplies, Mr N. Raghuveera Reddy, said Maharashtra and Gujarat had decided to implead themselves in the case against Monsanto. "Punjab too wrote to us expressing its willingness to implead," he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 9, 2006)
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