Millennium Post

Agriculture ministry fears permit raj

Opposing certain provisions of the draft Cotton Trade Bill, the agriculture ministry said on Friday the methodology suggested for collecting production data would bring back the ‘license-inspector raj’, adversely affecting cotton growers.

The ministry also said that bringing out crop data estimates was its sole responsibility and generating two-sets of official data separately would lead to confusion.

This information was given by the minister of state for agriculture Harish Rawat in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha when asked the reasons for opposing the proposed bill, which has been piloted by the textiles ministry.

It seeks to have accurate projection for the cotton crop that would help in deciding export and import policy.

‘The methodology suggested in the bill for collection of data – compulsory filling of innumerable returns of ginning and pressing factories, textile mills, traders and stiff penal provisions including imprisonment up to 2 years – would bring back ‘license-inspector raj’ with its concomitant drawbacks including adverse affect on cotton growers,’ he said. The estimation of crop production including cotton is the sole responsibility of the Directorate of Economics and Statistics under the agriculture ministry, Rawat said.
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