Memorandum to AP Chief Secretary on Loan Waiver

140622 Chief Secretary Telangana final Download

Rytu Swarajya Vedhika has a submitted a memorandum with the following demands.

  1. As a first measure, the Government must delink the loan waiver proposal from distribution of Kharif loans for the current agricultural season and should immediately take action to disburse crop loans  without delay to all the farmers including Tenant farmers.
  2. While the farming community is in deep crisis due to indebtedness, loan waiver is not a solution to end the crisis. The crisis is still continuing even after the debt waiver and relief extended during 2008.   A comprehensive solution lies in bringing in policy changes related to all aspects of agriculture (Credit, input support, extension and marketing) as well as pursuing the land reforms agenda with renewed vigour to bring about a meaningful change in the agriculture sector to help close to 85% ofsmall and marginal farmersto secure and sustain their livelihoods. . A piecemeal, myopic solution to the problem in the form of loan waivers alone is a grossly inadequate solution to the larger, complex set of problems ailing the farming sector in the State.
  3. Tenant farmers, dalits, tribal and women farmers who received lands under various land distributionschemes do not have access to institutional credit. They are taking loans from private money lenders, input dealers or Microfinance Institutions at a higher interest rate (as high as 60% Rs. 5 per Rs. 100 per month).  These farmers  are in deep crisis and constitute a large chunk of farmers committing suicides. This loan waiver is of no help  to them.
  4. Government should make immediate effort to increase access to institutional credit to real cultivators.  One of the problems often expressed by the bankers in giving crop loans to these farmers is the lack of a guarantee for repayment. The state government should establish a Credit Guarantee Fund for small and marginal farmers which can give collateral security to the tenant farmers.
  5. All the real cultivators who are not covered under institutional credit are to be organised into cooperatives and linked to the institutional credit.  All their high interest private loans can be swapped with low interest bank loans.
  6. Loans of all farmers who have committed suicides since 1997 have to be waived and their private loans be swapped with no interest bank loans.
  7. Government should introduce special budget for agriculture with an allocation of atleast 10% of the total budget.
  8. Government must ensure that the loan waiver does not benefit non-cultivating, absentee land owners who have other major sources of income or livelihood and have taken loans in the name of agriculture. Specific mechanisms must be evolved to identify and eliminate the above categories of landowners from the purview of the loan waiver scheme. Further, steps must be taken to identify the actual cultivators and update the revenue records accordingly. Government must also actively explore mechanisms (e.g. setting up a separate Committee) for evolving a set of criteria to enable eligible farmers benefit from the loan waiver scheme in a meaningful manner.
  9. Government should also take care that the loan waiver does not apply to ineligible loanees through the following measures
    1. Restricting the loan waiver only to crop loans
    2. In case government decides to waive short term and allied sector loans, it should be restricted to small and marginal farmers only (up to 4 ha in rainfed areas, 2 ha in irrigated areas)
    3. Exempting Hyderabad district from the purview of the loan waiver. A thorough enquiry should be conducted and if need be waiver can be extended in the second phase. Pending this, the crop loan waiver up to one lakh for all farmers in the other district should be done immediately.
  10. Government should with stain from any effort to impose additional taxes or issue bonds and transfer the burden on to people or the next government.

Mr. Prime Minister – You are wrong. GM crops are dangerous, and there is sound scientific evidence. says Coalition for GM Free India

Mr. Prime Minister – You are wrong. GM crops are dangerous, and there is sound scientific evidence. says Coalition for GM Free India

Coalition challenges the PM to prove that concerns about Bt Crops are prejudiced.

New Delhi, 4th Feb, 2014: Reacting to the promotional statement on Genetically Modified (GM) crops by the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in his inaugural address at the Indian Science Congress which started in Jammu yesterday [1], the Coalition for a GM Free India stated that the Prime Minister is wrong and wilfully misleading the nation on the issue of genetically modified (GM) crops.

The statement by the PM that the nation “should not succumb to unscientific prejudices against Bt crop” comes at a time when there is a growing body of scientific evidence on the adverse impacts of GM crops on human health, environment and farm livelihoods. The Coalition had recently released a compilation of more than 400 abstracts of peer reviewed scientific papers that points to the various adverse impacts from GM crops [2].

The Final Report of the Technical Expert Committee (TEC) set up by the Supreme Court of India in a PIL against open releases of GMOs into the environment has pointed to the inherent risks associated with GM crops and the absolute failure of the Indian regulatory system on GM crops. The TEC comprised of eminent scientists from the fields of molecular biology, toxicology, biodiversity, nutrition science etc had recommended against any open release of GM crops including for experimental trials, until a robust regulatory system is put in place. This was followed by more than 250 eminent Indian scientists including Padma awardees and 11 current and former Vice chancellors, writing to the Prime Minister about the serious concerns on GM crops[3]. They demanded that the Government of India stay clear of any vested interests and accept the recommendations of the TEC Final report as it is based on sound science, principles of sustainability and intergenerational justice.

Challenging the PM to prove his point that concerns about Bt Crops (GM crops with  toxin genes from the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringenesis) are unscientific and prejudiced, the coalition also reminded that it was his own Government had agreed to serious lacunae in the biosafety studies related to Bt Brinjal, the first GM food crop that came up for commercialisation and had put it under an indefinite moratorium. The Coalition for GM Free India demands Dr Manmohan Singh and his government to stop peddling risky GM crops and stand by the side of sound science and people of India.

Notes to the editor

1. The Prime Minister’s inaugural speech at the Indian Science Congress can be accessed at

2. The 2nd edition of the scientific compilation on adverse impacts of GM crops can be accessed at

3. The letter to PM on concerns with GM crops by Indian Scientists can be accessed at

For more info:

Rajesh Krishnan, Convenor, Coalition for GM Free India,

Mob: 09845650032 , email:

Coalition for a GM-free India 

Website:, email :,  Facebook page – GM Watch India

Illegal planting of GM corn during field trials by Monsanto in UAS, Dharwad, Karnataka: GM Free Coalition

Coalition for GM-Free India

April 9th 2012


Smt.Jayanti Natarajan,

Minister for Environment & Forests ( Independent Charge )

Ministry for Environment & Forests.

Dear Madam,

Re: Illegal planting of GM corn during field trials by Monsanto in UAS, Dharwad, Karnataka

Ref : Letter from the MoEF dtd 12017/10/2012/CS-III dated 19th March, 2012.

We appreciate the response from the Ministry’s Gentic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) on the above subject; however we would like to point out that extracts from the minutes of the GEAC meeting 115 on February 8, 2012 does nothing to establish the legality of planting NK603. The GEAC minutes have not addressed or answered our representation about this serious matter of illegal GMO planting and the consequent threat to biosafety.

In fact the explanations from GEAC raises more questions, obfuscates issues and tries to avoid the issue of illegal planting without addressing it. Given below are the pertinent issues that point to the fact that our original representation about illegal planting stands valid and in addition, there now seems to be an effort to cover up the issue and make it seem legal and in order.

  1. As per point 1 (of the GEAC facts of the case from minutes of meeting 115) the protocol/experimental design submitted by the applicant (Monsanto for Biosafety Research Level-I of its GM maize) and approved by GEAC on four different occasions did not include the treatment with NK6031 as comparator. This means that at no previous stage of field trials of this transgenic corn, NK603 was used as a comparator.
  1. There were 4 different applications made to GEAC during the BRL-II trials of the same GM hybrid corns. (BRL-II, seed production and IRM). Three of them were taken up by GEAC during its 104th meeting on 15/11/2010 and the fourth one during its 105th meeting on 8/12/2010 (relevant excerpts from GEAC minutes attached for ready reference).
  1. The trial under question is the BRL-II which was discussed and approved on 15/11/2010 during the 104thmeeting of GEAC. The application from the applicant did not seek the use of NK603 as comparator. GEAC’s approval statement2 and its subsequent letter to the applicant did not carry any statement permitting the use NK603 as comparator. (Attached GEAC letter to applicant).
  1. Therefore the point 4 (of the GEAC facts of the case table from minutes of meeting 115) stating that “field design included the inclusion of the treatment with event NK603 as comparator” is completely incorrect.
  1. On the other hand, the GEAC minutes and the letter to the applicant with instructions about the trials protocols repeatedly and specifically state that the objectives of the trial (BRL-II) is to study the efficacy of transgenic corn hybrids and compare them with their non-transgenic counter parts (Attached GEAC letter to applicant).
  1. In parallel, while considering the application for IRM testing Monsanto had sought the permission to use NK603 as part of the refuge in a bag strategy. GEAC had explicitly refused permission for the use of NK603 as detailed here: “5.6.4 The Committee noted that the corn hybrids expressing NK603 has not been approved for environmental release and, therefore, rejected the request of the applicant to use transgenic corn hybrids expressing NK603 while conducting IRM trials for ascertaining refuge strategy.”3
  1. From the above points it is amply clear that GEAC had decided that the use of NK603 cannot be allowed as the GMO is not approved for environmental release.
  1. Further the notes from meeting 115 of GEAC mention that the same BRL-II of Monsanto’s maize trials going on at Anand, Gujarat is being conducted without treatment with NK603.

In view of the above how did the committee (of GEAC) during the discussions on 8th February, 2012 (meeting 115), reviewing these very facts conclude as follows: “the Committee noted the fact that the GEAC in its 104th and 105th meeting held on 15.11.2010 and 08.12.2010 respectively had approved the request of the applicant to conduct BRL-II trials with the inclusion of the treatment with event NK603 as a comparator.”4 ?

  • Where is the evidence that NK603 “unapproved for environmental release” according to GEAC’s own decision and disallowed for the IRM trial on those grounds, was for some reason allowed to be used as comparator for BRL-II trials of Monsanto maize?

  • How can we simply believe this assertion about the use of this unapproved GMO (NK603):

    • which is not backed by evidence

    • which stands contrary to GEAC’s own pronouncements in the same meeting about NK603

    • and which is not part of any previous or concurrent field trial protocol of the same crop in any other location other than UAS Dharwad?

  • Why has the applicant not been asked for any explanation in this whole process and why is the regulator defending the applicant?

  • While bringing these points we would also like to put it on record that in the sequence of events GEAC has tried more than once (Points 4, 13, 14) to obfuscate the issue with irrelevant and incorrect facts.

  • Also the regulator has cast aspersions on the head of the compliance committee in order to defend the applicant. This either means that people designated to do compliance and monitoring do not know the regulations and protocols, which in turn means that our assertion about the threat to biosafety due to unsupervised trials is again validated. If not that, then the officials are being made into scapegoats to defend a biotech-multinational like Monsanto which puts under the scanner the impartiality of GEAC and the stringency of its processes. How can we accept that the Principal Scientist of the Institute which was made into the supervising authority for these trials, which drew up the trial protocols, did not know what he was verifying and would have just made a frivolous remark without any basis during his monitoring visit on May 5th 2011 to the field trial? 

In view of the fact that no evidence and no scientific reasoning has been provided to establish the legality of the use of NK603, we believe that the planting of NK603 as comparator was illegal. We further allege that GEAC is involved in covering up this serious violation without being able to provide any reasoning or evidence.



The Coalition reiterates its demand that:


  • The Minister for Environment & Forests fix accountability on Monsanto and its Indian associates for violating Indian law.
  • MoEF take action against the regulators who repeatedly fail to check the violations of the corporations.



Thanking you

Yours truly


Sridhar Radhakrishnan,

Convener, Coalition for a GM-Free India

H-3, Jawahar Nagar, Kawdiar, Thiruvananthapuram – 695003, Kerala.

Ph : 09995358205

email :, website :


Copy to : Sri M F Farooqui, Chairman, GEAC

Ms Ranjini Warrier, Member Secretary, GEAC

1 NK603 is an unapproved GM HT corn whose planting is therefore illegal in India.

2 Minutes of the 104th meeting of GEAC on 15/11/2010

3 Minutes of the 104th meeting of GEAC on 15/11/2010



New Delhi, March 19, 2013: On the second day of a large farmers’ rally in the heart of India’s capital here today, the Mahapanchayat (great assembly) of farmers and agriculture workers resolved to stay put until their demands are met. In a historical new formation, people’s movements and large farmers’ unions have come together to defend land rights and protect farm livelihoods. Lambasting the government for its anti-farmer policies, speaker after speaker rejected government’s development paradigm, which neglects rural India and agri livelihoods. The night saw thousands of farmers sleeping on Parliament Street in the open, with the government choosing to ignore them. “We are the Anna Daatas who keep the nation alive and the government cannot continue with its impoverishment policies towards farmers. More people are headed towards Delhi now and it looks like the government will respond only when an issue reaches a flash point”, said Yudhvir Singh of Bhartiya Kisan Union.

The main demands of the Mahapanchayat include: (a) no land acquisition and taking back the land acquisition bill with its amendments to the standing committee, (b) enacting a farmers’ income guarantee act, (c) cancel free trade agreements, (d) promote ecological farming and stop toxic technologies like GMOs and pesticides.



The large gathering was addressed by farmers leaders and activists like Naresh Tikait, Yudhvir Singh, Ajmer Singh Lokhowal, Chukki Nanjundaswamy, Chellamuthu, Gurnam Singh, Medha Patkar, Ulka Mahajan, Kavitha Kuruganti etc.



“Two years ago, empty promises were made to us by the government; this was by the Prime Minister himself making assurances to us on March 8th, 2011. This is tantamount to cheating the largest chunk of citizens of the country and this is unacceptable. If the government does not act this time to respond to this non-violent movement, it would only reinforce the public perception and knowledge that the government is deaf to the needs of its citizens”, said a statement from the Panchayat.



The assembly saw many women farmers joining actively in the rally. Yesterday, there was a symbolic burning of the government’s land acquisition bill to show that it was unacceptable to the gathering. The Mahapanchayat also declared that unless the PMO responds to their demands, they will not move out.




For more information, contact: Dharmendar Kumar: 9219691168; Kannaiyan: 9444989543; Ashlesha: 9900200771





Greenpeace Challenges Sharad Pawar, says GM crops cannot offer food security Activists occupy FCI’s godown on eve of Parliament Budget session


New Delhi, February 20, 2013: Rejecting Sharad Pawar’s stance on GM crops being the answer to India’s food security, 17 Greenpeace activists unfurled a massive banner with the message “Say NO to GM, Yes to Food Security” at the Food Corporation of India’s godown in Delhi’s Mayapuri area. As the parliament prepares to kick off the budget session tomorrow, this act reiterates that the solution lies in adopting a holistic view of food security with focus on better food distribution systems rather than promoting false solutions like genetically modified crops (GM).

The police immediately came at the venue and detained the activists, they were later taken to Mayapuri police station. Commenting on the detention, eminent social activist Aruna Roy said, “The Greenpeace activists peacefully protesting against the position taken by Union Agri Minister, Sharad Pawar have been illegally detained. This detention is one more in a series of actions taken by the State to suppress dissent. They were infact protesting against the Minister’s attempt to trivialise the issue of food security by asserting that the controversial GM technology would, infact, offer security of food production. The Minister’s support for GM food crops is highly controversial and there is an ongoing international debate on this issue. We condemn the detention and demand immediate release of peaceful protestors.”

In the Monsoon Session of 2012, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture tabled their report on GM crops. One of the clear recommendations of the report was for the government to come up with a fresh road map to food security that does not adopt risky technologies like GM but addresses the shortcomings of storage, distribution and mismanagement of stocks. That GM food crops are a panacea for food security is an argument made to serve the interests of the biotech sector.

Echoing the voice of the Parliamentary Committee, more than 150 scientists from across the country have written to Smt Jayanthi Natarajan, expressing their displeasure at the Government of India for promoting GM crops as a way forward for food security.

Neha Saigal, campaigner, Greenpeace India said, “So far there has been no single GM crop developed for increasing yields and it has failed to show any such increase in yield in nearly two decades of its existence. Instead of forcing risky GM food down our throats, Mr Pawar needs to address the fact that millions of tonnes of grains in storage facilities across India, consistently fail to reach the people. And, as the environment minister, Smt Natarajan should take an unequivocal stand on GM crops.”

Kavita Srivastava, convenor, Right to Food campaign said, “The issue of food security is broader than production. The problem lies in the lack of a political will for a Universal Distribution System. The UPA Government must not be distracted by GM crops as a solution to food security, but focus on an inclusive food security bill..”

Greenpeace urges the Minister of Environment, Jayanthi Natarajan, who is the decision maker on the environmental release of GMOs to intervene so that the MoA does not mislead the debate of food security.

Farmer unions speak out in Hyderabad on GM crops on National Food Safety Day

On National Safe Food Day (Feb 9, 2013), Farmer Unions and Civil Society groups in Hyderabad declare that GM crops are not required for Food Security, and demand that the government should implement Parliamentary Standing Committee and Supreme Court Tech Committee recommendations

Several farmer union leaders and civil society groups came together at press meet on National Safe Food Day to speak out about GM crops, 3 years after they raised strong concerns about Bt Brinjal which led to the Centre declaring a moratorium on Feb 9th, 2010. This day is being observed as National Safe Food Day by groups across the country.
The following points were highlighted:
(1) We reject the claims of the Bio-tech industry lobby groups and their agents pretending to speak on behalf of farmers, that farmers are demanding GM crops. As farmer organizations representing millions of farmers in Andhra Pradesh, we declare that what farmers are demanding is strong regulation of seed companies including quality, price and royalties on seed, and farmers’ rights over seed (instead of intellectual property rights by companies).
(2) We reject the claim that GM crops are essential for food security and for increasing food production. As farmer organizations representing millions of farmers in A.P., we assert that what is required for food security is urgent measures to ensure remunerative prices, provide support systems for farmers, incentives for food crops rather than risky commercial crops, and preventing diversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. Instead of acting on these real demands of farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture is batting for the GM, seed and pesticide industries as indicated by the recent conference in Delhi.
(3) In the 3 years since the Bt Brinjal moratorium, various recommendations of the Minister of Environment and Forests, such as establishing independent testing laboratories, independent regulatory and monitoring body, incorporating long-term tests for bio-safety and health impacts of GM crops, etc. have not been implemented. Still, there is a clamour from the biotech companies and Ministry of Agriculture for releasing GM crops.
(4) The Parliamentary Standing Committee and Supreme Court-appointed Technical Expert Committee made detailed, well-studied recommendations on GM crops – including stopping certain field trials and permitting certain trials only after bio-safety has been established. These recommendations should be implemented immediately by Govt of India.
(5) The BRAI Bill which is designed to fast-track the approval of GM crops should be set aside, and a new National Bio-Safety Law should be adopted to regulate GM crops.
Several programs with farmers are being taken up to raise awareness about GM crops in the next one month in various districts.
Pasya Padma from A.P.Ryotu Sangham, Sai Reddy from Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Kiran Vissa from Rythu Swarajya Vedika, Dr.Ramanjaneyulu from Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, and Dr.Narasimha Reddy from Chetana Society participated. Sarampalli Malla Reddy, National Vice President of All India Kisan Sabha, and David Showry, leader of Bharatiya Kisan Morcha (BJP) fully supported the statement but could not join due to health and unavoidable reasons.