Aug. 19, 2019
Devendra Fadnavis, Narendra Singh Tomar, Vijay Rupani CM Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani at the second meeting of the high power committee , ANI
The high power committee of chief ministers headed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for the transformation of Indian agriculture at its second meeting on Friday decided to seek suggestions and objections from states on the application of Genetically Modified (GM) variant which is currently banned under the law. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath appealed that the Centre should take a decision on Gm technology as the country should not remain laggard.
India's first GM crop, Bt cotton, had got approval for commercial cultivation 17 years ago which helped the country to become top grower and exporter of cotton from the net importer. The high power committee's move deserves importance especially when farmers from Maharashtra and Haryana recently took a decision to grow unapproved Bt cotton even at the risk of facing legal action.
Fadnavis, who was accompanied by the union agriculture minister Naresh Tomar and Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand, told reporters that the committee will make its recommendation with regard to the application of GM technology after going through suggestions and objections from the state.
Fadnavis, who chaired the second meeting, said the high power committee has taken a decision to lay emphasis on an increase in productivity, marketing and export. The committee decided to make market intelligence based export interventions and development of export-oriented infrastructure. Further, the committee discussed upgrading agriculture technologies and development of seed varieties including GM seeds.
The committee also discussed at length the Model Agriculture Produce Market Committee Act prepared by the Centre and how states can arrive at a consensus for its implementation.
Fadnavis informed that the committee also debarted on the exclusion of agriculture from the existing Essential Commodities Act so that the prices of agriculture produce may not fall.