The Essential Commodities Act has been passed in both the Houses of Parliament. After passing it, things like cereals, beans, potatoes, onions, edible oils will no longer fall into the category of essentials. In fact, the Lok Sabha passed the Essentials (Amendment) Bill 2020 on 15 September 2020. Now it has also passed the Rajya Sabha. Due to changes in the Essential Commodities Act, agricultural food items including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potatoes have been removed from the Act. This means that the government will not control all these agro-food items and farmers will be able to supply and sell at their own prices. However, the government will periodically review it. Rules can be tightened if needed.
Investment will be encouraged
Responding to the discussion in the lower house, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Raosaheb Danve said the bill would strengthen the entire supply chain of the agricultural sector, strengthen farmers and encourage investment. He said that this would create a business-friendly environment in the agricultural sector and strengthen the voice of the local people.
The opposition demanded the return of the central government
Opposition parties, however, opposed it. The opposition demanded the return of the central government. It is believed that the passage of the bill will exempt private investors from regulatory interference. The bill will strengthen the entire supply chain of the agricultural sector, strengthen farmers and encourage investment.
Controls supply and distribution
What is the Essential Commodities Act? (What is the Essential Commodities Act) – The Central Government regulates the sale, price, supply and distribution of all goods under this Act. Determines its maximum retail price (MRP). There are some things that are difficult to live without. Such items are included in the list of essential items.
Sets stock limits
Whenever the Central Government realizes that the arrival of a particular commodity in the market as per the demand is very low and its price is constantly rising, it imposes an Act on it for a certain period of time. Sets its stock limit. Whoever sells this item, be it a wholesaler, a retailer or an importer, is all prevented from stocking more than a certain amount. So that black marketing does not take place and prices do not rise.