Pawar peddles Seed Bill; says food production will top 250 mn tonnes

The agriculture ministry has requested the parliamentary affairs ministry to ensure that the National Seed Bill is taken up for discussion in the forthcoming budget session, as it is already overdue, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar said today.

The National Seed Bill, which was introduced in Rajya Sabha in December 2004, aims to regulate the quality of hybrid seeds and check the sale of spurious seeds as the government encourages increased private participation in seeds production and distribution.

"One of the important bills is pending for quite some time now. We have taken up with the parliamentary affairs ministry that new seed bill should be discussed in the budget session,'' he said, adding that a lot of issues could be resolved once parliament gives its accord to the bill.

Pawar was addressing a conference organised by the National Seed Association.

"I hope that the bill will come up for discussion in the budget session of parliament," he added.

The bill, which proposes to repeal and replace existing Seeds Act, 1966, will address the quality issue of genetically modified (GM) seeds, giving legal backing for GM seeds.