Govt to Con­tinue to Reg­u­late Seed, Pharma Prices

The Economic Times - - Commodities Plus - Mad­hvi.Sally@ times­

New Delhi: Agri­cul­ture min­is­ter Radha Mo­han Singh has said that the gov­ern­ment will not al­low com­pa­nies such as Mon­santo to ex­ploit farm­ers and it will con­tinue to reg­u­late the prices of seeds and pharmaceuticals.

“Mon­santo is a good com­pany. It has knowl­edge, but it doesn’t mean you loot farm­ers and charge any price,” Singh said on Mon­day while ad­dress­ing a two-day con­fer­ence in Delhi on kharif sow­ing sea­son. The min­is­ter asked gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to keep a check on the prices of seeds and any mo­nop­o­lis­tic ac­tiv­ity which im­pacts farm­ers’ lives. “We will have to en­sure that whether it is price of seed or pharmaceuticals, no one fixes prices as they want it. We will con­tinue to reg­u­late prices, when­ever re­quired,” he said.

There should be com­pe­ti­tion be­tween com­pa­nies to sell prod­ucts, Singh said. The spokesper­son of Amer­i­can com­pany Mon­santo de­clined to com­ment on the mat­ter. In De­cem­ber, the gov­ern­ment had is­sued an or­der to con­trol cot­ton seed prices, in­clud­ing trait or roy­alty value, ef­fec­tive from 201617 crop year (July-June).

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