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Congress alleges Government favoring Patanjali-like companies over local communities


The Congress party alleged on Tuesday that the Narendra Modi government has removed the fair and equitable benefit-sharing provision for users of codified traditional knowledge and AYUSH practitioners, potentially allowing companies like Patanjali to exploit resources without adequately compensating local communities.

This criticism follows the Supreme Court's scrutiny of Patanjali Ayurved for potential violations of its previous commitments regarding product quality and claims of medicinal effectiveness.The court issued a notice to Patanjali Ayurved and its managing director, questioning potential contempt of court.

The fair and equitable benefit-sharing provision, in line with the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity, aimed to protect India's biodiversity and ensure fair compensation between companies using biological resources and the communities preserving them.

Former Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh accused the Modi government of eliminating this provision, allegedly under the influence of a prominent businessman and yoga guru with ties to the BJP. Ramesh argued that without a clear definition of codified traditional knowledge, the government has allowed companies like Patanjali to exploit resources without adequately compensating local communities.

Ramesh also criticized the Modi government's environmental policies, accusing it of prioritizing political and financial interests over environmental protection and community welfare. He referred to previous statements by Prime Minister Modi on environmental issues, calling them hypocritical given the government's actions.

The Supreme Court, in its caution to Patanjali Ayurved, emphasized the importance of refraining from making false or misleading claims about medicinal efficacy, especially in advertising. This warning followed previous assurances by the company's counsel to comply with laws and refrain from making unsupported claims about its products.

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