Centre cautioned on capping GM royalties

 Industry body Assocham on Tuesday cautioned the Modi government that the draft guidelines that seek to put a cap on royalties on genetically-modified seeds could dampen investor interest in the flagship ‘Make in India’ programme.

Assocham said the government notification of May 18 on the Licensing and Formats for Genetically-Modified Technology Agreement Guidelines had created an environment that discouraged research and innovation. After running into stiff opposition from within a section of the government, Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh had withdrawn the notification and re-issued the same as a ‘draft’ for consultation with various stakeholders. Singh admitted that the guidelines were notified without any inter-ministerial consultations and were withdrawn on May 23.

The minister appeared to suggest that the Agriculture Ministry had went ahead with the notification after getting a positive response from farmers on the Cotton Seed Price (Control) Order that lowered the licence fee companies would charge from seed companies by 70%.

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