New Delhi: The Centre has sought details from the Maharashtra government about reasons for cancelling the licence of private seed firm Mahyco to sell Bt cotton seeds in the state.
     
The Union Agriculture Ministry has also asked Mahyco to submit its views, a senior government official said.
     
On August 8, the state government had issued an order cancelling the licence of Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco) to sell Bt cotton seeds with immediate effect, following various complaints against the company for creating artificial shortage and charging higher prices.
     
"It has come to our notice that Maharashtra government has banned Mahyco's sale of Bt cotton seeds in the state. We are looking into the issue. We have sought views of the state government," the official said.
     
After issuing the order, State Agriculture Commissioner Umakant Dangat had told that the Mahyco's licence has been cancelled on multiple grounds.
     
"We have received many complaints against the company that it was creating artificial shortage and selling seeds at higher than the price fixed by the state government, resulting law and order problem in some districts," he had said.
     
The state has fixed retail price of bt cotton seed in the range of Rs 850-930 for 450 gram pack. But the company was selling at higher than this price, he had said.
     
Dangat had also said, "Last year, Mahyco took advance booking of Bt cotton seeds from dealers but could not supply and that resulted into shortages."
     
That apart, the company did not submit its production and distribution plan to the government at the start of the current Kharif season and this affected the availability of seeds, he had noted.
     
Mahyco has less than 10 percent share in cotton seeds market in Maharashtra.

(Agencies)

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