GANGTOK: In a surprise move, the Sikkim government today withdrew a bill in the Assembly that sought a ban on supply of non-organic produce in the northeastern state from outside.
The bill proposed to ban on supply of non-organic vegetables, livestock and other produce in Sikkim from outside with effect from March 31, 2018.
The Horticulture and Cash Crop Development Department Minister Somnath Poudyal withdrew the Sikkim Non-Organic Agriculture and Horticulture Commodities (Prohibition and Regulatory) Bill when he was asked to introduce it by Deputy Speaker Sonam Gyatso Lepcha.
Lepcha presided over the two-day special session of the House in the absence of the Speaker Kedar Nath Rai who is reportedly indisposed.
When asked why the bill was withdrawn in the last minute, Poudyal cited 'technical reasons' behind it but did not elaborate further.
A senior state government official, however, said that the draft of the bill was flawed and required large-scale changes in the text which was difficult in such a short time.
He said that the bill will be introduced in the budget session.
The budget session is likely to take place in March, although the government has not announced it so far.
The Sikkim government had approved a proposal to ban supply of non-organic agriculture, horticulture and livestock produces in the state in a phased manner with effect from March 31 this year.
As per a proposal of the Horticulture and Cash Crop Development Department, the list of products to be prohibited from entry into Sikkim with effect from March 31, 2018 are: maize, beans, brinjal, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, capsicum, carrot, chayote, cucumber, drumstick, lady’s finger, leafy vegetables, spinach, pea, radish, tomato, pointed gourd, banana, guava, mango, orange, papaya, ginger, green chilly and turmeric.
The list of products to be prohibited from entry into Sikkim with effect from March 31, 2019 are: millet/finger millet, soyabean, rapeseed, mustard, onion, potato, garlic, milk & packaged milk and mustard oil cake.