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BUSINESS & SEEDS: Indian parliamentarians spar over cotton prices and Bt cotton



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:   BJP, CONGRESS SPAR OVER COTTON PRICES, BT COTTON IN RAJYA SABHA

SOURCE:  The Economic Times, India

AUTHOR:  Press Trust of India, India

URL:     http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-03-15/news/37744279_1_bt-cotton-cotton-crop-minimum-support-price

DATE:    15.03.2013

SUMMARY: "Congress and BJP members today clashed in Rajya Sabha over the issue of Bt cotton as the opposition members insisted on knowing what price farmers were getting for their crop. The heated exchanges led to adjournment of the House for 20 minutes during Question Hour. Shivanand Tiwari (JD-U) wanted to know the price farmers were getting for their cotton crop. To this, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Charan Das Mahant sought to know whether it would be proper for him to reply as a writ petition was pending in Supreme Court on Bt cotton. Some members, however, said the question has nothing to do with the court case."

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BJP, CONGRESS SPAR OVER COTTON PRICES, BT COTTON IN RAJYA SABHA

NEW DELHI: Congress and BJP members today clashed in Rajya Sabha over the issue of Bt cotton as the opposition members insisted on knowing what price farmers were getting for their crop.

The heated exchanges led to adjournment of the House for 20 minutes during Question Hour.

Shivanand Tiwari (JD-U) wanted to know the price farmers were getting for their cotton crop. To this, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Charan Das Mahant sought to know whether it would be proper for him to reply as a writ petition was pending in Supreme Court on Bt cotton. Some members, however, said the question has nothing to do with the court case.

The Minister replied that the Minimum Support Price of cotton per quintal was Rs 1,770 in 2006-07 and Rs 3,600 in 2012-13.

But Tiwari was not satisfied and asked the Minister to tell the House about the actual price farmers got. BJP member from Gujarat Parshottam Rupala (BJP) supported Tiwari. In the meanwhile, Congress members Ramchandra Khuntia and Jesudasu Seelam said something provoking Rupala, leading to heated exchanges. At one point, opposition members were seen pacifying Rupala.

As the frayed tempers continued, Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the House at around 11.40 am till noon.

Earlier, Mahant informed that yield of cotton in the country has increased from 467 kg per hectare in 2007-08 to 488 kg per hectare in 2012-13.

The cost of production, he said, has increased from Rs 2,110.53 per quintal in 2007-08 to Rs 2,772.16 per quintal in 2012-13. More than 90 per cent of total cotton area in the country is now under Bt cotton.



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:   PRODUCTION DIPS EVEN AS 90% LAND IS UNDER BT COTTON CULTIVATION: MAHANT

SOURCE:  The Hindu Business Line, India

AUTHOR:  Press Trust of India, India

URL:     http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/production-dips-even-as-90-land-is-under-bt-cotton-cultivation-mahant/article4512380.ece

DATE:    15.03.2013

SUMMARY: "Government is ascertaining reasons behind dip in Bt Cotton production, which covers more than 90 per cent of the total cotton area in the country. ?We are seriously ascertaining what are the reasons for the decline in Bt cotton production,? Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Charan Das Mahant told Rajya Sabha. Mahant said yield of cotton in the country was recorded at 499 kg and 491 kg per hectare in 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively. However, in 2012-13, it was estimated at 488 kg a hectare with ?more than 90 per cent of total area in the country is now under Bt Cotton cultivation.?"

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PRODUCTION DIPS EVEN AS 90% LAND IS UNDER BT COTTON CULTIVATION: MAHANT

Government is ascertaining reasons behind dip in Bt Cotton production, which covers more than 90 per cent of the total cotton area in the country.

?We are seriously ascertaining what are the reasons for the decline in Bt cotton production,? Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Charan Das Mahant told Rajya Sabha.

Mahant said yield of cotton in the country was recorded at 499 kg and 491 kg per hectare in 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively.

However, in 2012-13, it was estimated at 488 kg a hectare with ?more than 90 per cent of total area in the country is now under Bt Cotton cultivation.?

He said overall the yield has increased from 467 kg per hectare in 2007-08 to 488 kg per hectare in 2012-13 and the production was sufficient for country?s requirement with surplus being exported.

Mahant also said that cotton research centres and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) were conducting research for production of coloured cotton.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Agriculture Institute, Jabalpur had conducted research for it but the produce was small at 50 kg a hectare, he said, adding in some areas villagers were growing green and brown cotton but its colour faded in sun.

There are separate seed productions for it, he said, adding the cost of production of cotton in the country has increased from Rs 2,110.53 per quintal in 2007-08 to Rs 2,772.16 per quintal in 2012-13.

Earlier, Congress and BJP members clashed in the House over the issue of Bt cotton as Opposition members insisted on knowing what price farmers were getting for their crop. The heated exchanges led to adjournment of the House for 20 minutes during Question Hour.



                                  PART 3

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   QUESTION HOUR ADJOURNED AFTER BJP-CONG WAR OF WORDS OVER BT COTTON

SOURCE:  Daily Pioneer, India

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://dailypioneer.com/nation/133636-question-hour-adjourned-after-bjp-cong-war-of-words-over-bt-cotton-.html

DATE:    16.03.2013

SUMMARY: "The Rajya Sabha on Friday witnessed heated exchange between the BJP and the Congress members over Bt Cotton issue forcing the adjournment of the Question Hour. The House was adjourned as some BJP members became agitated when the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Charan Das Mahant hesitated in answering the question on the ground that a PIL on Bt Cotton is pending before the Supreme Court."

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QUESTION HOUR ADJOURNED AFTER BJP-CONG WAR OF WORDS OVER BT COTTON

The Rajya Sabha on Friday witnessed heated exchange between the BJP and the Congress members over Bt Cotton issue forcing the adjournment of the Question Hour.

The House was adjourned as some BJP members became agitated when the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Charan Das Mahant hesitated in answering the question on the ground that a PIL on Bt Cotton is pending before the Supreme Court.

In response to JD(U) member Shivanand Tiwari?s question about the price farmers were getting for their cotton crop, the minister sought to know whether it would be proper for him to reply as a writ petition was pending.

But when some members, including Congress MP Satyabrat Chaturvedi, said the question has nothing to do with the court case, he agreed to reply and said that the Minimum Support Price of cotton per quintal was Rs1,770 in 2006-07 and Rs3,600 in 2012-13.

However, Tiwari was not satisfied and asked the Minister to tell the House about the actual price farmers got.

At this point BJP member from Gujarat Parshottam Rupala supported him and wondered whether the Minister wanted to mislead the House by taking the plea of the matter pending before the court and how he was now answering the questions.

When Congress members Ramachandra Khuntia and JD Seelam spoke in support of minister, Rupala became very agitated and told them that they have no idea of farmers and cotton so they should not speak.

Even though BJP members tried to pacify Rupala, when he remained agitated Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the House for 20 minutes. But when the House reassembled, the minister replied to all the supplementary questions much to the satisfaction of members including Rupala.