The Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) has said that several clauses in the new licensing guidelines for GM crops may discourage the public and private sector investments in crop biotechnology in the country.
The farm ministry had recently issued a new draft licensing guidelines and format for genetically modified technology and agreement. The ministry had issued a notification on May 18 saying that for a new GM cotton seed, the maximum trait value may be up to 10% of maximum sale price of cotton seeds as fixed by the Centre every year, for an initial period of five years from commercialisation.
From the sixth year onwards, it shall taper down 10% every year of initial trait value as above fixed under the order.
According to the notification, the technology provider would not be eligible for any royalty if the GM technology loses its efficacy or a gradual reduction in trait value from the year of commercial use in India is reported.
“We understand that GM crops research is highly time consuming lasting up to 10 to 12 years. Thereafter, one has to get the product cleared through regulatory process, which would once again take many years,” SEA president Pravin Lunkad said in a representation made to the Union agriculture ministry.
Thereafter the innovator has to recover his investment for the technology, it said. “The draft licensing guidelines have several clauses which would discourage the private sector for investment in crop biotechnology in India. It does not consider the investment of resources and time for biotech innovation,” Lunkad said.
“We would request the government to reconsider such stringent regulatory measures and thereby encourage the investors to bring in modern technologies to Indian agriculture,” he said.