Monthly Archives: November 2011

Madhya Pradesh opposes Biotech Regulatory Bill

You can download Dr Ramakrishna Kusmariya’s letter to Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh here.

Madhya Pradesh opposes Biotech Regulatory Bill

Madhya Pradesh has decided to officially oppose the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill, to be tabled in the Parliament on Tuesday.

State Agriculture Minister Ramkrishna Kusmaria has written to Union Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, stating Madhya Pradesh’s opposition to some key provisions of Bill.

“States have a Constitutional right to decide on the subjects of health and agriculture. The BRAI Bill, regarding which I have drawn the Centre’s attention earlier, violates this right thereby compromising the States’ autonomy,” Dr. Kusmaria has said in his letter to Mr. Deshmukh.

Dr. Kusmaria has also pointed out that genetic modification of crops was a dangerous technology, the safety of which had yet to be established.

“Indian farmers will get dependent on GM seeds and eventually the entire indigenous agriculture will fall under the control of a few international corporations,” the Minister has written.

It is for these reasons, Dr. Kusmaria has written, that the Madhya Pradesh government registers its strong protest against the BRAI Bill and the proposed field trials of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the State.

The BRAI Bill reportedly has certain controversial provisions against which several States, including Kerala and Orissa, have registered their protests.

Eleven former Supreme Court judges, including former Chief Justice of India Justice M.H. Kania, have also issued a “statement of concern” on the BRAI Bill.

Farmers protest against BRAI Bill

Farmers protest against BRAI Bill

A group of farmers staged a demonstration outside the residence of Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda here on Monday. They were protesting against the Biotech Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill that is scheduled to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

“The Chief Minister should have written to the Prime Minister by now pointing out the flaws in the Bill and listed out reasons why it needs to be scrapped. Why is the Government, which has an organic farming policy, keeping silent on the issue?” asked Kodihalli Chandrasekhar, president of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS).

G. Krishna Prasad, Director of Sahaja Samrudha, said,“The BRAI Bill is obviously being pushed to bulldoze our concerns. There is already much evidence to show that GM food causes adverse impacts and in the case of Bt. brinjal also, after biosafety data was ordered to be put out in the public domain by the Supreme Court, independent analysis confirmed the lack of safety of Bt. Brinjal. This is exactly what the people pushing this Bill are afraid of. The Bill and its clauses around transparent functioning actually defy Supreme Court order which has already ruled that biosafety data is not treated as confidential commercial information”.

“The Centre, with the expediency clause wants to keep regulatory control with itself. This is ridiculous given that it has been acknowledged recently that agriculture being a State subject, farmers should have a say in the regulatory decisions pertaining to GM foods. How can the BRAI Bill seek to reverse such positive developments, if not for the fear of rejection from everywhere?” said Manjunatha of Samvada.

BRAI Bill tabling tomorrow: Opposition from all quarters

The text of the Statement of Concern signed by ten former Supreme Court Judges is available here

Appeal to Scrap Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill 2011

Jointly signed by various organisations and concerned citizens across the country

Date : 21 November 2011


Dr. Manmohan Singh,

The Hon’ble Prime Minister,
Government of India.

Dear Dr. Manmohan Singh,

Sub: Appeal to Scrap Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill 2011.

This is to draw your kind attention to the BRAI bill which is proposed to be tabled in the upcoming winter session of the Parliament. Given that the Bill proposes to create a single window clearance system and drastically lowers the bar for safety assessments and transparent decision making for dangerous GM crops, we clearly see this as a threat to our right to safe food and sustainable livelihoods of our rural households, especially of our vast number of small holding-cultivators.

As you know, across the world there is valid resistance against GM crops and most countries have adopted a precautionary approach towards them. This is what India should also follow.

Genetic Modification (GM) is an imprecise, unpredictable and highly risky technology whose safety is not yet established and whose spread cannot be controlled once released into the environment given that it is a living technology. The recent past has seen more and more scientific evidence emerging both from the laboratory and the field, about the adverse health and environmental impacts of GM crops. Experience of Bt Cotton, the only GM crop commercially cultivated in the country, clearly shows that GM crops are a threat to our seed sovereignty and farm livelihoods.

Last year the nation witnessed a wide and intense debate on Bt Brinjal, the first GM food crop proposed for commercialisation. The then Minister of Environment and Forest after nationwide consultations decided to adopt a precautionary approach and impose a moratorium on Bt Brinjal until all the concerns raised by all sections of the public are satisfactorily addressed. Instead of following this responsible and democratic approach, your government is proposing to table a dangerous and regressive bill like BRAI to lower the bar on approval of GM foods.

While there are many issues with the BRAI bill, a few major ones are listed below;

· The bill was drafted in a secretive fashion with no opportunity for the general public to comment on a legislation which deals with something as important as the safety of our food and sustainability of farming in the country.

· There is a serious inherent conflict of interest as the BRAI is proposed to be under the Ministry of Science and Technology, which already has a mandate to promote GM crops, a product of modern biotechnolgy which BRAI is supposed to regulate.

· There is no intention or mention of independent, long-term and rigorous biosafety assessment of GM crops.

· Centralised and narrow decision-making with no mechanism for consultation with the public or involvement of multiple stakeholders in decision-making is present in the bill, which is against the spirit of democracy and against the Cartagena Protocol, to which India is a signatory.

· No mechanism for transparency- Worse yet, the Bill bypasses the citizen’s right to information by overriding the Right to Information Act, 2005, for commercial interests.

· The Bill overrides the state governments’ authority over health and agriculture and thereby challenging the federal polity of the country.

· It is also objectionable and problematic that this Act will have an over-riding effect over other laws in force, since this Bill is indeed inconsistent with legislations like the Biological Diversity Act.

· The Bill has very weak penal clauses and lacks deterrent liability mechanisms to ensure prevention of mishaps and irresponsible actions by GM crop developers and promoters. It also lacks any redressal mechanisms where by stakeholders [farmers, consumers etc] can be compensated for damages [deliberate or otherwise] caused and remediation ensured.

· Very importantly, the Bill fails to talk about any needs evaluation, socio-economic assessment and assessment of alternatives, which was also stressed by the Government in its Bt brinjal moratorium decision – and assumes that all biotechnology and GM crops are a fait accompli.

In addition to the above there are numerous other problems with the Bill. How can the Government table a Bill that is virtually designed to enable and further large scale collusion and corruption in areas as critical as food safety & security, farmer livelihoods and ecological safety? The country and the government cannot afford to jeopardise these.

We are also concerned about the intent behind the Bill when several states have opposed the introduction of GM crops, rejected field trials of genetically modified seeds and are moving towards non-transgenic options including a variety of sustainable methods.

At a time when the nation bows its head in shame and grief in front of the unabated farmer suicides triggered by the agrarian crisis, a result of wrong and misguided agriculture policies of the last few decades, the last thing the nation needs is the hasty approval of a single window clearance system for GM crops which would further imperil agrarian livelihoods and farmers’ lives.

That this could happen at a time when the Parliament, the government and people are grappling with the issue of a strong anti-corruption legislation, aware as they are of the scale of collusion and corruption including in “regulatory” spaces, is difficult to believe.

It is also a travesty of transparency that your government holds high, that the draft of the bill was never opened up for public debate even as it is being readied for introduction into the Parliament.

Given the fact that there is enough scientific evidence to question the safety of Genetically Modified crops and given the massive public mistrust about the technology and its products, and given that the damages and impacts of the technology are irreversible, what the government should have formulated is a Biosafety Protection statute, instead of the proposed BRAI Bill, to instill confidence in all citizens about the intent of the government. Such a statute should have as its cornerstones ‘the safety of the environment, the well being of farming families, the ecological and economic sustainability of farming systems, the health and nutrition security of consumers, safeguarding of home and external trade and the biosecurity of the nation’.
We urge you to scrap the BRAI 2011 Bill immediately as it completely overlooks biosafety, imperils our environment and threatens our socio-economic and cultural fabric. We also urge the government to table a legislation to protect and enhance biosafety and to ensure democratic processes are adhered to when dealing with issues as important as food and farming in our country.

Yours sincerely,

1. A. N. Anjeneya, Sharana Muddanna Savayava Krushikara Sangha, Davanagere, Karnataka

2. A. S. Chinnusamy, State president, Thamilaga vivasayegal Sangam, Dharmapuri, Tamilnadu

3. Abdul Rahman C. P., Farmer, Jaiva Karshaka Samithi, Calicut, Kerala

4. Abdul Rasheed C. R. P, Farmer, Trivandrum, Kerala

5. Abhay Chavan, Gammon India Ltd., Mumbai, Maharashtra

6. Abhilash, Software Engineer, Trivandrum, Kerala

7. Adv. Pradeepkumar, Chairman, Haritha Sena Farmers Organisation, Kerala.

8. Adwait Pednekar, Kokan Bachav Samiti, Mumbai, Maharashtra

9. Afsar Jafri, Senior Research Associate, Focus on the Global South, India, New Delhi

10. Ajay Dolke, Srujan, Yavatmal, Maharashtra

11. Ajay Jha, Pairvi, New Delhi

12. Ajay Mahajan, Beej Bachao Andolan, New Delhi

13. Ajayan R., Plachimada Support Group, Trivandrum, Kerala

14. Ajit Patil, Engineer, Mumbai, Maharashtra

15. Ajith, Secretary, Wyanad Organic Consortium, Wayanad, Kerala

16. Allauddin Ahmed, State Coordinator, Save our Rice Campaign, West Bengal

17. Ambrose, The Lumiere, Organic Hotel, Kochi, Kerala

18. Anand Patwardhan, Film maker, Mumbai, Maharashtra

19. Anand Shah, Independent Citizen, Mumbai, Maharashtra

20. Anand, SPRED, Raichur, Karnataka

21. Anantha Sayanan, Re-store, Coordinator, Safe Food Alliance, Chennai

22. Anil Akkara, Standing Committee Chairman, Trichur Jilla Panchayath (Young Leader Award 2011 – CNN-IBN), Thrissur, Kerala

23. Anil Kunte, Here On Project Environment (HOPE), Thane, Maharashtra

24. Anish Kapadia, Concerned Citizen, Mumbai, Maharashtra

25. Anjani Mehta, Veena Nursery, Mumbai, Maharashtra

26. Anju Venkat, The Health Awareness Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra

27. Annapoorni, Concerned citizen, Chennai

28. Anoop Chandran, Cine Actor, Alappuzha, Kerala

29. Anshuman Das, Development Research Communication Service Centre (DRCSC), Kolkata, West Bengal

30. Antony Stephen, Director, Rainbow Foundation, Chennai

31. Aperna, Adhi Naturals, Bangalore, Karnataka

32. Appavu Palandar, President, Katch Sarbattra Vivasaya Membattu Sangam, Pudukkottai, Tamilnadu

33. Arun Tyagi, Dalit Adivasi Maha Panchyat, MadhyaPradesh

34. Arun, President, Dharmapuri District Organic Farmers Association, Dharmapuri, Tamilnadu

35. Aruna Rodrigues, Sunray Harvesters, Mhow, MadhyaPradesh

36. Arunima, Concerned citizen, Orissa

37. Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh, Pune, Maharashtra

38. Ashok Kumar, Teacher & Farmer, Secretary, Nalla Bakshana Prasthanam, Malappuram, Kerala

39. Ashok Pradhan, Concerned citizen, Orissa

40. Avil Borkar, Gramin Yuva Pragatik Mandal, Bhandara, Maharashtra

41. B. R. Ravindra, Arambha, Mysore, Karnataka

42. Badushah N., Chairman, Wyanad Environmental Protection Committee, Wyanad, Kerala

43. Balkrishna Namdeo, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha, Aishbag, Bhopal, MP

44. Bhabani Das, Concerned citizen, Orissa

45. Bhakthi, Environment Support Group, Bangalore, Karnataka

46. Bharat Bhushan Thakur, Jan Kalyan Sansthan, Orissa

47. Bharat Dogra, Social Change papers, New Delhi

48. Bharat Mansata, Founder-member, Vanvadi Agro-ecological Regeneration Association -VARA, Mumbai, Maharashtra

49. Bhau Katdare, Secretary, Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra

50. Biju, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Kochi, Kerala

51. Bimal Prasad Pandia, Regional Centre for Development Cooperation, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

52. Binayak Swain, BATNET, Orissa

53. Binoy Viswom, Ex-Minister for Forests and Housing, Kerala,

54. Biswa Ranjan, Concerned citizen, Orissa

55. Biswajit Mohanty, RTI Activist, Orissa

56. Bittu Sahgal, Editor, Sanctuary Asia, Mumbai, Maharashtra

57. Brig. Oommen John, Concerned citizen, Trivandrum, Kerala

58. C. R. Neelakantan, Writer and Environmentalist, Kerala

59. Catherine Lee, Social Activist, Statue, Trivandrum, Kerala

60. Chandrasekharan Nair, Kerala Farmers Internet Forum, Trivandrum, Kerala

61. Channabasppa Kambli, Naisargika Sampalmoona Samste, Haveri, Karnataka

62. Cheran, President, Cauvery Delta Farmers Associations’ Federation, Tamilnadu

63. Chinmay Futane, Organic Farmer, Amravati, Maharashtra

64. Chinnusamy, President, Amaravathi Pasana Vivasayegal Sangam, Tamilnadu

65. Choudhary Ramkaran, 360 Village Panchayat, New Delhi

66. Christopher, President, Nanchillatha Vivasayegal Sangam, Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu

67. Daniel Mazgaonkar, Mumbai, Maharashtra

68. Daniel, Action Aid, Orissa

69. Debjeet Sarangi, Living Farms, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

70. Deepa V. S., Lecturer, College of Engineering, Karunagappalli, Kerala

71. Devarajan, President, Coimbatore District Tree Growers and Mooligai Farmers Association, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu

72. Dhanaraj Keezhara, Painter and Artist, Bangalore, Karnataka

73. Dharmendra Kumar, India FDI Watch, New Delhi

74. Dhirendra Panda, Focus Orissa

75. Dilip Subudhi, Regional Centre for Development Cooperation, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

76. Dinesh K Mishra, Bahr Mukti Abhiyan, New Delhi

77. Divan Singh, Natural Heritage First, New Delhi

78. Dr. Arun D. K., Indore Biotech Input, Indore, MP

79. Dr. Asha Gopinathan, Scientist, SCTIMST, Trivandrum, Kerala

80. Dr. Ashok Kundapur, Solar Cooker Expert, Udupi, Karnataka

81. Dr. Biji Abraham, Lecturer in Economics, Christian College, Chengannur, Kerala

82. Dr. Bijukumar, Reader, Kerala University, Trivandrum, Kerala

83. Dr. Deepa P. Gopinath, Lecturer, College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

84. Dr. G. G. Parikh, Freedom Fighter & President -Yusuf Meherally Centre, Tara, Maharashtra

85. Dr. G. K. Menan, Agriculture Scientist, Indore, MP

86. Dr. G. P. I. Singh, Convener, Environmental Health Action Group, Bathinda, Punjab

87. Dr. G. S. Koushal, Former Agriculture Director, M. P. Government, Bhopal, MP

88. Dr. H. Ramachandran, Associate Professor, Dept. of Life sciences, Sophia College, Mumbai, Maharashtra

89. Dr. Jacob Vadakkencherry, Nature Life Hospital, Kerala

90. Dr. Jeevandham, President, Tamil Nadu Green Movement, Tamilnadu

91. Dr. Johannes Manjrekar, Microbiology Department & Biotechnology Centre, M. S. University of Baroda, Gujarat

92. Dr. Maqbool, Professor in Zoology, MES College, Ponnani. Kerala

93. Dr. Nalini Naik, Gen. Secy, Self Employed Womens Association (SEWA), Trivandrum, Kerala

94. Dr. Priti Joshi, Director, National Organization for Community Welfare, Wardha, Maharashtra

95. Dr. Ravi Kelkar, Famous Organic Farmer, Indore, MP

96. Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy, Forum for a Sustainable Environment, Hyderabad, AP

97. Dr. S. Santhi Sharma, Scientist, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

98. Dr. Sadhuram Sharma, Former Sugarcane Commissioner, MadhyaPradesh

99. Dr. Sarada Money, Social Scientist, Trivandrum, Kerala

100. Dr. Saravana Babu, President, Flora(Forum of Biologists), Tamilnadu

101. Dr. Satpude, Former Dean Khanda Agriculture College, MadhyaPradesh

102. Dr. Shaila Wagh, Mumbai, Maharashtra

103. Dr. Shrap, Agriculture Scientist, Indore, MP

104. Dr. Sivasamy, State President, Thamizhka Vivasayegal Sangam, Tamilnadu

105. Dr. Sreekumar, Kottayam Nature Society, Kottayam, Kerala

106. Dr. Sunita Rajadhyaksha, Medical Director, OncoRX India Pvt Limited, Mumbai, Maharashtra

107. Dr. Thomas Varghese, Soil Scientist, Ex-Chairman, Kerala State Agricultural Prices Board, Kerala

108. Dr. Ujjwala Pendse, Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Trust, Mumbai, Maharashtra

109. Dr. Usha Balaram, Professor (Retd.) in Zoology, Trivandrum, Kerala

110. Dr. V. S. Vijayan, Salim Ali Foundation and Ex-Chairman, Kerala State Biodiversity Board, Thrissur, Kerala

111. Dr. V. T. Sundarmurthy, Entomologist, Formerly Project Coordinator & Head, AICCIP (Cotton-ICAR), Central Institute for Cotton Research, Regional Station, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu

112. Dr. Vinod, Ayurveda Doctor and Scientist, TBGRI, Trivandrum, Kerala

113. Dr. Vivek Bhide, Ratnagiri Jilha Jagruk Manch, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra

114. Duraimanikkam, State Secretary, Thamizh Nadu Vivasayegal Sangam, Tamilnadu

115. Durgesh Kasbekar, Independent Research Analyst, Vancouver

116. Duskar Barik, Kirdti, Orissa

117. E. S. Jayachandran, Asst Professor, Model Engineering College, Kochi, Kerala

118. Eldo Pachilakkadan, Architect, BIRDS, Trivandrum, Kerala

119. Eshvar Makode, Prerna Yuva Parivar, Amravati, Maharashtra

120. Fatima Bernard, Director, Tamilnadu Women Forum, Tamilnadu

121. G. M. Hosamani, Dharwad Organic Growers Association, Dharwad, Karnataka

122. G. S. Rao, Chetna Organics, Orissa

123. Gajanan Padiyar, Nisarg Bachav Samiti, Dapoli, Maharashtra

124. Gautam Chaudhury, Concerned citizen, Kolkata, WestBengal

125. Geeta Jhamb, Mumbai Institute of Ecology & Environment, Mumbai, Maharashtra

126. Geo Jose, National Alliance for People’s Movement, Kochi, Kerala

127. Ghasiram Panda, Regional Centre for Development Cooperation, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

128. Giri Kumar, Organic farming, Chennai

129. Gomathi Nayagam, President, Vivasaya Seva Sangam,Puliangudi,Thirunelveli Dist, Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu

130. Guddi, National Coordinator -Yusuf Meherally Yuva Biradari, Mumbai, Maharashtra

131. Guruprasad, Nesara organic Service Society, Mysore, Karnataka

132. Guruswamy, Hulikadu savayva Krushikara koota, Kollegal, Karnataka

133. Guruvayurappan, Wildlife Preservation Society of India, Palakkad, Kerala

134. Hansa Mazgaonkar, Mumbai, Maharashtra

135. Hariharan, Farmer, Secretary, Kissan Jyothi Farmers Club, Kerala

136. Harikumar, Sound Engineer, National Award Winner-2010, Kerala

137. Harish Vasudevan, RTI activist, Kasargode, Kerala

138. Harshal Deshmukh, Bio-medical Engineer, Mumbai, Maharashtra

139. Hemant Moharir, Nagpur, Maharashtra

140. Hemendra Joshi, Vidarbha Convener- Rashtriya Swabhiman Aandolan, Amravati, Maharashtra

141. Hendry, President, Uzhavar Perumandram, Kanyakumari, Tamilnadu

142. Hoysal Appaji, Vasundare Jaivika Samsathe, Hasan, Karnataka

143. Illias, Secretary, One Earth One Life, Palakkad, Kerala

144. Iswarchandra Tripathi, Indian Farmers’ Union, MadhyaPradesh

145. J. Prasant Palakkappillil CMI Ph. D, Principal, Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kerala

146. Jacob Lazer, PUCL, Kochi, Kerala

147. Jacob Nellithanam, Richharia Campaign, Centre for Indigenous Farming Systems, Chattisgarh

148. Jagannath Chatterjee, Regional Centre for Development Cooperation, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

149. Jasbir Chadda, URJA, New Delhi

150. Jayachandran, President, Chengelpet Dist.Natural Farmers Association, Tamilnadu

151. Jayakumar C, Director, Thanal, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

152. Jayant Varma, Hamara Bij Abhiyan, MadhyaPradesh

153. Jayaprakash, Prakrithi Padana Kendram, Nilambur, Kerala

154. Jishnu, Kumarakom Nature Club, Kottayam, Kerala

155. Jose M. J., Secretary, Kerala Social Service Forum, Kerala

156. Julius Rego, Nature Lover, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra

157. K. Sajaya, Caring Citizens Collective, Hyderabad, AP

158. K. V. Dayal, Chairman, Jaiva Karshaka Samithi, Kerala,

159. Kabir Arora, Indian Youth Climate Network, Delhi

160. Kalaivani, President, Erode District Organic Farmers Federation, Erode, Tamilnadu

161. Kalicharan Marandi, Dulaal, Orissa

162. Kalidass, President, OSAI, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu

163. Kanchi Kohli, Kalpavriksh, New Delhi

164. Kandasamy, Vellakoil Farmers Association, Tamilnadu

165. Kanwarjit Singh, Concerned citizen, Mumbai, Maharashtra

166. Kapil Shah, Director, Jatan Trust, Baroda, Gujarat

167. Karan Sadarangani, Concerned citizen, Mumbai, Maharashtra

168. Karuna Futane, Gram Seva Mandal, Gopuri, Wardha, Maharashtra

169. Kashmira Vaidya, Service, Mumbai, Maharashtra

170. Kavitha Kuruganti, Alliance for Holistic & Sustainable Agriculture (ASHA), Bangalore, Karnataka

171. Kedar Mishra, Anupam Bharat, Orissa

172. Kiran Vissa, Association for India’s Development, Hyderabad, AP

173. Kisan Mehta, Save Bombay Committee, Freedom Fighter, Mumbai, Maharashtra

174. Kishen Das, California, USA

175. Kodihalli Chandrashekar, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangah, Bangalore, Karnataka

176. Kongu Kolandaisamy, President, Erode Dist.Horti. Association, Erode, Tamilnadu

177. Kranti Prakash, Jaivik Kheti Abhiyan, New Delhi

178. Krishna Prasad, Director, Sahaja Samruddha, Bangalore, Karnataka

179. Kuppusamy, President, Kollathur Region Organic Farmers Association, Kollathur, Tamilnadu

180. Kusum Pal, Concerned citizen, Mumbai, Maharashtra

181. Lajpat Dhingra, Software Consultant, Thane, Maharashtra

182. Laxman, Mattu gulla Growers Association, Udupi, Karnataka

183. Laxmansingh Muniya, Lok Jagrati Manch, Jhabua, MP

184. Leo Saldana, Environment Support Group (ESG), Bangalore, Karnataka

185. Lingaraj Pradhan, Western Orissa Farmers’ Union, Orissa

186. M N Khadse, Technical Advisor, DharaMitra, Wardha, Maharashtra

187. M. A. Rahman, Professor in English and Film Maker, Kasargode, Kerala

188. Madhukar Dhas, Dilasa, Yavatmal, Maharashtra

189. Mallikarjun Hosapalya, Dhanya, Tumkur, Karnataka

190. Mallikarjun, Jeevasude Organic Products, Shivamoga, Karnataka

191. Manas Mishra, Concerned citizen, Orissa

192. Manish Rajankar, Bhandara Nisarg va Sanskriti Abhyas Mandal, Gondia, Maharashtra

193. Manjunath H., Samvadha, Bangalore, Karnataka

194. Mavis D’Souza, Urban Organic Farmer, Mumbai, Maharashtra

195. Meenatchsundaram, Secretary, Thiruvanamalai District Organic Farmers Association, Tamilnadu

196. Meeta Jhunjhunwala, Director- Ultimate Destinations & Events, Mumbai, Maharashtra

197. Meghna Patel, Concerned Mother, Mumbai, Maharashtra

198. Meher Engineer, Vice President, Teachers and Scientists against Maldevelopment, Kolkata, West Bengal

199. Mercy Alexander, Director, SAKHI Womens Resource Centre, Trivandrum, Kerala

200. Mercy, Director, BLOSSOM, Tamilnadu

201. Monisha Narkhe, RURecycling, Mumbai, Maharashtra

202. Mukta Shrivastav, National Alliance for People’s Movement, Mumbai, Maharashtra

203. N. Paul Sunder Singh, Advocate. Karunalaya Social Service, Chennai

204. N. R. Shetty, Sahaja Samrudha, Bangalore, Karnataka

205. N. S. Palanisamy, State president, Katchi Sarbattra Thamilaga vivasayegal Sangam,Tiruppur, Tamilnadu

206. Nagappa Nimbegondi, Siridanya Samrakshkara Balaga, Haveri, Karnataka

207. Nallgoundar, Secretary, Uhavar Uzhaipallar Kattchi, Tamilnadu

208. Nallusamy, President, Tamil nadu Kal Iyyakkam, Erode, Tamilnadu

209. Nandita Shah, SHARAN, Mumbai, Maharashtra

210. Narayanan, Farmer, Secretary, Jaiva Karshaka Samithi-Palakkad, Kerala

211. Natabara Khuntia, Columnist, Orissa

212. Nawab Khan, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Gondipura, Bhopal, MP

213. Neeraj Kumar, Trihut Kisan Morcha, New Delhi

214. Neesha Noronha, Mumbai Organic Farmers and Consumers Association (MOFCA), Mumbai, Maharashtra

215. Nilesh Desai, Beej Swaraj Abhiyan, Jhabua, MP

216. Nirali Shah, SHVAS, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

217. Niranjana Maru, HOD, Agriculture & NRM, Alternative Agriculture Resource Centre, Chetana-Vikas, Wardha, Maharashtra

218. Nishikanta Mohapatra, Concerned citizen, Orissa

219. O. V. Usha, Poet and Writer, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

220. P. A. Pouran, General Secretary, PUCL,Kerala State Committee, Manjery, Kerala

221. Pandiode Prabhakaran, National Farmers Protection Forum, Palakkad, Kerala

222. Panduranga Hegde, Chipko-Appiko Movement, Karnataka

223. Pankaj Bhushan, GM Free Movement-Bihar, Patna, Bihar

224. Partha Sarthi Jena, Centre for labour Studies, New Delhi

225. Pervin Jehangir, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Mumbai, Maharashtra

226. Philomina, AIKYA, Bangalore, Karnataka

227. Podaran, Founder& Director, Thamilaga Valvurimai Iyakkam, Kangeyam, Tamilnadu

228. Pooaniyan, General Secretary, TN Tharsarbu Vivasayegal Sangam, Tamilnadu

229. Prabhat Mishra, Regional Centre for Development Cooperation, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

230. Prafulla Das, Concerned citizen, Orissa

231. Prafulla Samantray, Convener, Lok Shakti Abhiyan, Orissa

232. Prafulla Savala, Pryavaran Mitramandal, Bharat Krushak Samaj, Amravati, Maharashtra

233. Prakhar Dixit, L.L.B., Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, New Delhi

234. Pramod, Kachra Kamghar Union, New Delhi

235. Pramodini Pradhan, PUCL, Orissa

236. Prasanth Mohanty, Concerned Citizen, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

237. Pravin Gavankar, Janhit Seva Samiti, Madban, Jaitapur, Maharashtra

238. Priti Turakhia, Concerned citizen, Mumbai, Maharashtra

239. Priya Ranjan Sahoo, Concerned citizen, Orissa

240. Priya Salvi, Prakruti, Mumbai, Maharashtra

241. Prof Anil Sadgopal, Member, Presidium All India Forum for Right to Education & Former Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Delhi, New Delhi

242. Prof Vikram Soni, Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi

243. Prof. G Arunima, Associate Professor, JNU, New Delhi

244. Prof. Ritu Priya, Nobody should sleep hungry, New Delhi

245. Prof.Shambu Prasad, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

246. Purushan Eloor, Chairman, Periyar Malineekarana Virudha Samithi, Kochi, Kerala

247. Pushpanjali Satpathy, Basundhara, Orissa

248. R Jayaraman, Training Director, FEDCOT, Thiruthiraipoondi, Tamilnadu

249. R Ponnambalam, Managing Trustee, CREATE, Nagercoil, Tamilnadu

250. Rachna Dhingra, Bhopal Group for Information and Action, Bhopal, MP

251. Rady Ananda, USA

252. Raj Kishor Mishra, Right To Food Campaign, Orissa

253. Raj Krishna Mukherjee, Developement Research Communication Service Centre (DRCSC), Kolkata, WestBengal

254. Raja Chidambaram, State President, Thamilaga vivasayegal Sangam, Perambalur, Tamilnadu

255. Rajendra Bhagel, Former MLA and known Organic Farmer, Sonkachh, MP

256. Rajendra Chandak, Bharat Bachao Aandolan Samiti, Amravati, Maharashtra

257. Rajesh Krishnan, Greenpeace, Bangalore, Karnataka

258. Rajeswari Purohit, CWS, Orissa

259. Rajini Thakur, Prakriti, New Delhi

260. Rajkumar Bardiya, Pashudhan Bachao Samiti, Paratvada, Amravati, Maharashtra

261. Raka Sinha Bal, Angaja Foundation, New Delhi

262. Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, United Forum for RTI Campaign-AndhraPradesh,

263. Rakesh Tikait, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Muzzafarnagar, UP

264. Ram Mohan, District president, HMKP, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu

265. Rama Subramaniam, Chief Consultant, Samanvaya, Chennai

266. Rama.Nambi.Narayanan, State Organizer, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, Chennai

267. Ramaswamy Selvam, State Coordinator, Tamilnadu Organic Farmers Federation, Erode, Tamilnadu

268. Ramesh Choudhary, Madhyanchal Forum, MadhyaPradesh

269. Rangadhar Behera, Regional Centre for Development Cooperation, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

270. Ranjeet Thakur, Green Features, New Delhi

271. Rashida Bi, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Hamidia Road Bhopal, MP

272. Robin, Editor, Keraleeyam Fortnightly, Thrissur, Kerala

273. Rony Joseph, INFACT, Pala, Kerala

274. Ruth Sequeira, Sahayak Trust, Mumbai, Maharashtra

275. S. Jeevan Kumar, Human Rights Forum, Hyderabad, AP

276. S. Poongodi, Managing Trustee, Vithu Trust-Arachalur, Erode, Tamilnadu

277. S. Varadarajan, Managing Trustee, Waves Foundation, Thiruvaroor, Tamilnadu

278. S. Vijayakumaran Nair, Secretary, Trivandrum Consumers Protection Forum, Trivandrum, Kerala

279. Sachin Jain, Right to Food Movement, MadhyaPradesh

280. Sadagopan, State president, Thamizhkh Uzhvar Periyyakkam, Tamilnadu

281. Safreen Khan, Children Against Dow Carbide, Bhopal, MP

282. Samir Mehta, Dharohar Dharti Trust, Mumbai, Maharashtra

283. Samprati Gada, Mumbai, Maharashtra

284. Sandeep Vaidya, Pashudhan Bachao Samiti, Amravati, Maharashtra

285. Sandhya Edlabadkar, Jagrut Mahila Samaj, Chandrapur, Maharashtra

286. Sangita Sharma, Annadana Seed Savers Network, Bangalore, Karnataka

287. Sanjay Patil, BAIF, Pune, Maharashtra

288. Sanjeev Reddy, Social Activist, Orissa

289. Saraswati Kavula, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), Hyderabad, AP

290. Saroj Mohanty, Western Orissa Farmers’ Union, Orissa

291. Satinath Sarangi, Bhopal Group for Information and Action, Bhopal, MP

292. Satish Gogulvar, Amhi Amchya Arogyasathi, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra

293. Satyajit Chavan, Kokan Vinashkari Prakalpa Virodhi Samiti, Mumbai, Maharashtra

294. Sebastian K. Jose, Bodhi, Pala, Kerala

295. Selina Shah, Professor, Mithibai College, Mumbai, Maharashtra

296. Shalini Bhutani, Lawyer and Independent Researcher, New Delhi

297. Sheelu Francis, Director,Women Collective, Tamilnadu

298. Shibu K. Nair, Director, Zero Waste Centre, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

299. Shishir Parija, Agriculture Specialist, Orissa

300. Shivaprasad, Kadamab Samudaya Beejakendra, Banavasi, Karnataka

301. Shivayogi Makari, Sanjeeveni Savayava Krushi Balaga, Hirekerur, Karnataka

302. Shjudeen, President, Green Youths Coimbatore, Tamilnadu

303. Shweta Wagh, Associate Professor, Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture and Environmental Studies, Mumbai, Maharashtra

304. Shyamala Sanyal, Nagpur, Maharashtra

305. Simanchal Nahak, Rusikalya Royot Mahasabha, Orissa

306. Smita Mitra, Outlook India, Mumbai, Maharashtra

307. Somesh, Sahaja Organics, Bangalore, Karnataka

308. Sreedevi Lakshmi Kutty, Urban Leaves, Den Haag, NL

309. Sreedharana Nair, Director – Initiative for Social & Economic Transformation (InSET), New Delhi

310. Sridhar Radhakrishnan, Convener,Coalition for GM Free India, Trivandrum, Kerala

311. Subhash Kamdi, Organic Farmers Group, Madani, Sewagram, Wardha, Maharashtra

312. Subi Thalapathy, President, Thadappali and A.Kootai Pasana Vivasayegal Sangam, Gobi, Tamilnadu

313. Sudarshan Chhotray, Concerned citizen, Orissa

314. Sudhir Gandotra, Humanist Party, New Delhi

315. Sudhir Pattanaik, Samadrushti, Orissa

316. Sugathakumari, Padmasri Awardee, Poet and Environmentalist, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

317. Sujata Jagtap, Muktiyan Sanskritik Sanghatan, Mumbai, Maharashtra

318. Suma Josson, Film maker, Mumbai, Maharashtra

319. Sumeet Sharma, Advocate, Delhi

320. Suniel Chaurasiya, Filmmaker, Mumbai, Maharashtra

321. Suresh Panigrahi, AIKS, Orissa

322. Suresh Tripathy, Western Orissa Farmers’ Union, Orissa

323. Sushila Satyal, Bharat Swabhiman & Patanjali Yog Samiti, Mumbai, Maharashtra

324. T. P. Padmanabhan, Society for Environmental Education in Kerala (SEEK), Payyannur, Kerala

325. T. Sakthivel, Secretary, Sathyamangalam Environment and Wildlife Association, Tamilnadu

326. Tejal V., Nurturing Grounds, Mumbai, Maharashtra

327. Thirugana Samthamurthy, President, Uppar Pasana Vivasayegal, Tamilnadu

328. Uday Acharya, Urban Leaves, Mumbai, Maharashtra

329. Uday Kanitkar, Photographer, Thane, Maharashtra

330. Ugranarasimma, Nisarga, Natural food Production Centre, Mysore, Karnataka

331. Uma Shankari, Rashtriya Raitu Seva Samiti, Chittoor Dist., AndhraPradesh

332. Umendra Dutt, Executive Director, Kheti Virasat Mission, Jaitu, Punjab

333. Usha Soolapani, National Coordinator, Save Our Rice Campaign, India, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

334. V. Arun, Managing Trystee, The Forest Way, Thiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu

335. Vaiyuapuri, State President, Iyykiya Vivasayegal Sangam, Tamilnadu

336. Vasant Futane, SAMVAD, Organic Farmer, Amravati, Maharashtra

337. Velayudham, President, Kalingarayan Pasanan Vivasayegal Sangam, Pasur, Erode, Tamilnadu

338. Vellaiyan, President, Federation of Traders /Associations, Tamilnadu

339. Vettavalam Manikandan, President, Indhiya Uhavar Uzhaipallar Kattchi, Tamilnadu

340. Victor, HOPE, Pondicherry

341. Vijay Edlabadkar, Janvidyan Kendra,Chandrapur, Maharashtra

342. Vijay Patil, “KASTAKAR” voluntary group working for rural upliftment, Yavatmal, Maharashtra

343. Vijay Pratap, South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy, New Delhi

344. Vijay Ubale, Dalit Haqq Abhiyan Jilla Sanghatak, Nasik, Maharashtra

345. Vijay Wilankar, Human resources Consultant, Mumbai, Maharashtra

346. Vinay Futane, Organic farmer, Amravati, Maharashtra

347. Vinita Mansata, Earthcare Books, Kolkata, WestBengal

348. Vinod Saighal, ECO Monitors Society, New Delhi,

349. Vipul Sanghavi, Urban Organic Farmer, Mumbai, Maharashtra,

350. Vishweshwar Madhav, Chemical Engineer, Mumbai, Maharashtra,

351. Yudhvir Singh, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), New Delhi

Former SC Judges oppose Bill on Biotechnology

Chetan Chauhan

Ahead of the winter session of Parliament, former judges of the Supreme Court have questioned the efficacy of three bills on new regulatory authority for biotechnology sector, unfair practices in higher education and constitution of education tribunals.

The winter session has hectic agenda for MPs as there are over 30 bills listed for introduction or consideration, including six education bills and the biotechnology regulatory authority bill.

Three former judges of the apex court -SP Jeevan Reddy, Kuldeep Singh and MH Kania -have expressed serious concern over the introduction of the biotechnology bill by the ministry of science and technology. They said that the regulatory framework should have experts from other related ministries such as environment, agriculture, health and rural development.

“The primary mandate of any biotechnology bill must be to ensure safety to consumers, farmers and the environment and not to facilitate quick clearances,“ the judges said.

They also found the bill lacking in ensuring that citizens have a right to reject a genetically modified food and that there is no contamination of environment because of GM crops.

In another set of view, former chief justices of India -AS Anand, Madan Mohan Punchhi and KN Singh -have claimed that the government does not have legal competence to set regulatory mechanism for universities as it is a domain of the state legislative bodies.

Their view was sought by the Association of Self Financing Universities on HRD ministry’s Education Tribunal Bill and Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical, Medical and Universities Bill.

Bt cotton fails farmers in Tamil Nadu

Bt cotton fails farmers in state

CHENNAI: For Arul Venkatesan, a cotton-growing farmer in the Aroor block of Dharmapuri district, the stand that Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa took in the Assembly in August, that her government will not “promote” GM crops in the State, “struck the ears like music”.

Venkatesan was one among the thousands of farmers in the State who shifted to Bt cotton in 2005, after it was widely publicised as a “pest-resistant” and “high-yielding” variety by “scientists”, who held orientation programmes in the villages. While the first season went on smoothly, fortunes shifted in 2006.

“I sowed all my four acres with the 6,918 variety seed that they guaranteed would give huge profits. The plant grew well as we devotedly followed every instruction. But the crop never flowered. Zero yield pushed the entire belt of 2,500 hectares where farmers like me had cultivated Bt cotton, into distress,” he recalls.

Following the incident, the then DMK government decided to hold Mahyco, the supplier of the seeds produced by Monsanto, responsible for supplying “improper seeds.” Though there were attempts to blame the soil conditions and excessive rainfall for the crop failure, the company finally conceded the demands of the farmers and paid a compensation of `5,000 per acre.

Farmers and activists vehemently opposing GM crops now argue that none of the promises made during the introduction of genetically-engineered seeds have come true. In fact, in certain cases, the opposite has happened.

Official statistics reveal that in 2009-10, the amount of land under cotton cultivation was 1.370 lakh hectares of which 58.4 per cent were of the Bt variety. In contrast, a mere 0.11 lakh hectares were under Bt cotton in 2004-05. While more than 30 companies sell GM seeds in the State, officials from the cotton-growing belts told Express that Monsanto technology seeds hold “absolute monopoly” in the market.

The yield data put up on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture for cotton adds credence to the claims of those opposing Bt cotton. Between 2002 and 2008, the six years since the GM variety was introduced, Tamil Nadu reported an average yield of 272.17 kg per hectare, down from 290.17 kg per hectare in the six years preceding introduction of GM variety.

The cost of cultivation has also seen an upward trend even when inflation rates are adjusted. For example, official statistics say that the average cost of cultivation for cotton has increased from `31,062 per hectare in 2003 to `42,145 in 2009.

Also, a report by the National Level Monitoring Team for 2007-08 pointed to an almost stagnant trend in the amount of insecticides used — between 14 and 15 million metric tonnes. Even within the per hectare cost, farmers are now spending anywhere between `1,300 and `1,500 on pesticides, as per official sources.

Ground reports suggest that seed costs have also multiplied over the years as the market has been saturated with GM varieties with very little choices for the farmer. A senior official said that many of the Bt seeds now cost between `1,300 and `1,500 per kg, up from about `800 a few years ago.

Farm & Food Activists Demand Scrapping of BRAI Bill 2011

FARM & FOOD ACTIVISTS DEMAND SCRAPPING OF BRAI BILL 2011: Ask State Govt to raise its voice against the Bill and protect farmers’ interests – Seek disallowing of GM crop field trials in the state

Chennai, November 11, 2011: Farmers’ leaders from all over Tamil Nadu, cutting across various affiliations, demanded that the Union Government should scrap the BRAI (Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India) Bill 2011, stating that it was a deeply flawed Bill. They asked the state government of Tamil Nadu to assert its constitutional authority over Agriculture, which this Bill seeks to violate. Farm activists wanted the state government and all TN Members of Parliament to raise objections against the BRAI Bill’s introduction in the winter session. They also urged the state government to ensure that no open-air field trials of GM crops are allowed in Tamil Nadu.

“The BRAI Bill is clearly against the interests of farmers and consumers and seeks to create a single-window fast-track clearance system for profit-hungry corporations. This is a Bill that is unconstitutional and undemocratic. It seeks to bypass the Right To Information Act in its intent to uphold the commercial interests of seed companies. The state government will not be allowed to have any say in the matter and this is clearly a violation of the federal polity enshrined in the Indian Constitution, wherein Agriculture is a State Subject”, said Sridhar Radhakrishnan of the Coalition for a GM-Free India.

Speaking at the end of a Round Table on BRAI Bill, Vettavalam Manikandan of Tamizhaga Vyavasayigal Sangam said, “The state government in recent months has taken the progressive steps of repealing the TNSAC Act and withdrawing a budgetary provision to promote Bt cotton in the state. The CM has also reminded in the National Development Council meeting that Agriculture is after all a State subject. In the same spirit, we hope the CM will write to the Centre to stop this draconian Bill”, he said.

Vellaiyan of Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam said that the BRAI Bill is against the bottomline for regulatory regime recommended by a Task Force on Agricultural Biotechnology which had mooted the idea of an independent regulator in the first instance! The bottomline was stated to be “the safety of the environment, the well being of farming families, the ecological and economic sustainability of farming systems, the health and nutrition security of consumers, safeguarding of home and external trade and the biosecurity of the nation. We need a biosafety protection statute and not BRAI”, he asserted.

“We would like the government to make the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University accountable to it and the farming communities in the state; very often, the TNAU is seen to be acting in the interests of profiteering corporations in the way they promote GM technology and take up numerous trials, despite enormous scientific evidence proving the dangers of transgenic technology. We know that in the case of the ABSP II project for the development of Bt brinjal varieties, several legal provisions have been violated and the National Biodiversity Authority has decided to proceed against the violators; an investigation is needed into TNAU’s partnerships with various corporations too”, said Sheelu Francis of Tamil Nadu Women’s Collective.

Dr V Suresh, National Secretary of PUCL said that the BRAI Bill is against our Constitution. It is a part of the twenty first century global effort to colonise Indian agriculture by making food as a primary weapon and hand over our agriculture and food systems to profiteering corporations, thereby affecting our food sovereignty and food self sufficiency carefully built over sixty years of independent India.

“Tamil Nadu’s farmers have pioneered organic farming in the entire country; however, this organic farming movement in the state is being jeopardized now, because the state government is yet to take a firm stand against GMOs in general and BRAI Bill in particular, and given that GM technology is diametrically opposite in its approach and results, to organic farming! We urge the state government to come up with an organic farming policy for the state and stop the onslaught of GM on our farmers here, since we have safer and sustainable technologies to offer. We urge the government to not give any permission for open air field trials in the state, given that the GM technology is a living, imprecise, irreversible and unpredictable technology”, said Selvam Ramaswamy of Tamil Nadu Organic Farmers Federation. He cited the example of several other states that have said NO to field trials.

Sharing the findings of a report she compiled on “A Decade of Bt cotton in Tamil Nadu” on the occasion, Kavitha Kuruganti of ASHA (Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture” pointed out that official records point out that yields of cotton have been fluctuating in the state despite major expansion of Bt cotton in the cotton cultivation in Tamil Nadu, that insecticide usage has not come down as predicted, that cost on pesticides was quite low to begin with, bringing to question the very rationale for the introduction of Bt technology in the state, that cost of cultivation has no declining trends to exhibit etc. “While this is not based on any primary study, the report is based on official figures; this data hopefully will guide the state government in not being misled by the massive publicity that the biotech industry generates by spending its resources and hopefully, the Chief Minister will see the real picture for what it is”, she said.

The Round Table brought out a declaration rejecting the BRAI Bill 2011 in toto. Further, a Joint Action Forum was created consisting of eight prominent people’s leaders. Many other prominent persons like Duraimanickam of CPI-affiliated farmers’ union, Ananthoo of Safe Food Alliance, Thooran Nambi, Ramasubramanian of Samanvaya, Jayaraman of FEDCOT, Dr Tirunarayanan from Centre from Traditional Medicine & Research, Padam Narayanan, Sundar of SJM, KM Ramasamy, non-political Tamizhaga Vyavasayigal Sangam, Eswaran of MDMK, N K Palaniswamy, ex-MLA, Kannaiyan S of SICCFM etc. joined the Round Table here in Chennai.

For more information, contact:

Ananthoo, Safe Food Alliance: 09444166779,

Selvam, TN Organic Farmers’ Federation: 09443663562,

Bt Cotton report released on the occasion

BJP leader asks PM not to introduce BRAI Bill

BJP leader asks PM not to introduce BRAI Bill

Patna, 8/11/11: Bihar BJP president C P Thakur has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to go ahead with the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill in its present form in the winter session of Parliament.

“This bill has major problems that require your immediate attention…It prima facie appears to be unconstitutional and I have strong objections to it because it will infringe on the authority of the state on matters related to agriculture and health, which are primarily state subjects,” Thakur said in a letter to Singh.

“This bill will impact human health and environment, bio-diversity and agrarian livelihood. Therefore, it is important that the bill and the regulatory body should be under the Ministry of Environment and Forests or Health instead of Science and Technology,” he pointed.

He also appealed to the Prime Minister to not introduce the proposed bill in its present form.

You can download a copy of the letter here.

Members of Parliament write to PM on BRAI Bill


Capt. Jainarain Nishad, former Union Minister for Environment has written to the Prime Minister, expressing concern over the Government of India pushing forward the BRAI Bill.

Prof Anil Kumar Sahani, a Rajya Sabha MP, has also written to the PM, pointing out that the BRAI Bill appears to be too centralised and therefore, contradictory to the principle of increasing decentralisation of governance. He requests the PM to take appropriate feedback from the states and also to generate due public opinion through debates before the Bill is introduced in the Parliament.

Earlier, there were opinion pieces by Ms Maneka Gandhi, BJP MP and Dr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, RJD MP on BRAI Bill, raising various concerns with the Bill that was sought to be introduced on August 17th 2011.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh’s Minister for Farmers’ Welfare & Agricultural Development, Dr Ramakrishna Kusmariya, in a media statement, said that his government would oppose the BRAI Bill if the state’s authority over agriculture is violated through the Bill.