The passage of Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill (BRAI) 2013" continues to be an unsolved riddle. As introduced earlier in the April session of parliament, the bill is pending in Lok Sabha and has been referred to the department related parliament standing committee on science and technology, environment and forests, headed by Dr T Subbarami Reddy, member parliament, Rajya Sabha for examination and report. The bill that has been published in the Gazette of India, Extra ordinary, Part II, dated April 22, 2013.
The committee since been asked to submit its report within three months, has therefore now decided to invite memoranda containing views from individuals or organizations interested in the subject matter of the bill. As per the message issued in the various media platforms by the commitee, the persons desirous of submitting memoranda to the committee can send it within thirty days from June 11, 2013, the date of public notification. The statement also mentioned that those who are willing to attend before the committee could do so as well. However, the committee's decision in this regard shall be final. The memoranda submitted to the committee would form part of the records of the committee and would be treated as confidential.
Biotechnology industry in India has been growing at an average annual rate of twenty to thirty percent during last five years and its turnover exceeded Rs 20,440 crores approximately. There rae however public concerns in respect of organisms and products derived from modern biotech on human, animal and environmental safety. Various countries have developed regulatory mechanisms to ensure safety. Various countries have developed regulatory regulatory mechanisms to ensure safe and responsible use of biotechnology of the organisms and products. But in India, activities and processes involving the genetically engineered organisms and products thereof are broadly regulated under the 'Rules of manufacture, use/import/export and storage of hazardous micro organisms/genetically engineered organisms or cells 1989' notified under the Environment (protection) Act, 1986 and the guidelines, India has experienced a number of challenges.
In pursuance of the recommendations of the task forces, this bill aims inter-alia at establishing an independent statuary regulator to be known as BRAI. The authority shall regulate research, transport, import, manufacture and use of organisms and products of modern biotechnology to promote the safe use of modern biotechnology by enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of robust regulatory procedures.