NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of liquor baron Vijay Mallya leaving India without paying debts, an RSS affiliate today asked the government to ensure seeds company Monsanto does not quit the country without compensating farmers who “suffered” due to the firm’s “wrong acts”.
Swadeshi Jagran Manch claimed Monsanto was “trying to blackmail the Indian government by threatening to quit India after “constantly violating Indian laws” and collecting more than Rs 6,000 crore from poor farmers across the country.
“SJM demands that government shall take all the necessary steps to avoid the repetition of Vijay Mallya type escape and Monsanto should not be allowed to quit India without compensating the farmers who suffered severely because of wrong acts of the company,” Manch’s national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said.
He said Monsanto and all other such entities, who flout the law of the land for unfair profits, “must understand that they will have to comply with the provisions of the law. Monsanto in particular should be ready to face the consequences of their past unfair practices committed within the territory of India”.
“Finding its options limited, Monsanto is trying to black mail the government of India by threatening to quit India operation in protest, as if something wrong has been done to them,” the Manch said.
“The fact of matter is that Monsanto has been constantly violating Indian laws and have so far, according to rough estimates, collected more than Rs 6000 crore from poor farmers of India across the country,” it further said.
The Manch also welcomed the decision of the Agriculture Ministry notifying maximum sale price (MSP) for Bollgard II (BG II) variety of Bt cotton seeds and making it applicable across the country.
“This price includes trait fee of Rs 49 per packet, down 70 per cent from the current level. The decision to put Bt cotton seeds under price control has been necessitated because of variety of reasons that includes ineffectiveness of the Monsanto BT seeds against the Pink Bollworm, highly unfair pricing and lack of uniformity in their prices across the country,” he said.
Mahajan said farmers have been under severe distress as they faced frequent crop failures using Monsanto BT seeds and unduly highly priced seeds.
“It is also a well-known fact that lakhs of cotton farmers have committed suicide in the country due these reasons,” he said, adding that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has also found Monsanto to be involved in violation of competition regulations and other laws of the land using its monopoly power.
The SJM leader said Monsanto tried to utilise legal options available to put on hold these decision of CCI and the Ministry of Agriculture, but courts refused to stay the orders.