Govt. to include spurious seed sale under PD Act

File photo of damaged cotton crop reportedly due to spurious seeds in Medak district.   | Photo Credit: Mohd Arif

The State government has decided to bring those found guilty of manufacturing and selling spurious seeds under the purview of the Preventive Detention Act to ensure that they were dealt with sternly.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao informed the Legislative Assembly that the government planned to make amendments to the PD Act in this direction and a Bill giving shape to the amendment would be introduced in the ongoing session. This was necessitated as sale of spurious seed to gullible farmers had become a major issue with vested interests looking at making easy money through their sale.

The Chief Minister was speaking in the Legislative Assembly, which witnessed a heated debate on issues of agricultural sector, including farm loan waiver and the huge losses incurred by farmers due to recent untimely rains. The close to four-and-a-half hour debate saw arguments between the Treasury and Opposition benches over the initiatives launched for the welfare of farmers by their respective governments.

Bonus sought

The Opposition members insisted that the Government give bonus to major crops as the minimum support price announced by the Centre was not remunerative and steps should also be taken to rein in the insurance companies that were not compensating farmers in spite of crop insurance forming part of the loans they obtained from regional rural banks and commercial banks.

Leader of the Opposition K. Jana Reddy led the Opposition in claiming that the phase-wise implementation of crop loan waiver scheme had compounded the miseries of the farmers. The government should take the initiative to announce bonus for the farmers on the lines of Chhattisgarh and other States. The Chief Minister, however, wanted the members not to draw parallels with neighbouring States as they were not providing free inputs like power.

Crop damage

Congress member T. Jeevan Reddy who initiated the debate on the issue which came up as short discussion lamented that traders and the Government agencies were not giving assured MSP to crops, particularly cotton, that was discoloured and affected by pests. Farmers went for cotton cultivation in more than 40 lakh acres this season in anticipation of good returns, but their crops suffered damages due to untimely rains.

BJP floor leader G. Kishan Reddy lamented that the enrolment into the Prime Minister’s Fasal Beema Yojana was not upto the mark in the State with only six lakh out of the 55 lakh farmers registering their names. The government had also failed to clarify its stand on the action against companies that were manufacturing spurious seeds and had confined itself to arrest of few dealers who sold the seeds.

TDP member S. Venkata Veeraiah and CPI (M)’s Sunnam Rajaiah represented the problems relating to farmers in scheduled areas who were facing difficulties in availing the schemes offered by the government.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 5:03:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/govt-to-include-spurious-seed-sale-under-pd-act/article19963302.ece

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