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Govt approves amendment of essential commodities act, passes two ordinances

After the amendment to the Essential Commodities Act, commodities such as edible oils, cereals, onions, pulses, and potatoes will be deregulated.

Jun 3, 2020 18:44 IST
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The Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 3, 2020, has approved the amendment to the six and half decade old Essential Commodities Act. The cabinet in the meeting has also passed two agricultural ordinances.

After the amendment to the Essential Commodities Act, commodities such as edible oils, cereals, onions, pulses, and potatoes will be deregulated. It will help in transforming the farming sector as well as in raising the farmer’s income.

After announcing the cabinet’s decision, Agricultural Minister Narendra Singh Tomar mentioned that it will go a long way in helping India’s farmer while simultaneously also transforming the agricultural sector.

Amendment of Essential Commodities Act:

As per the announcement made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the govt has approved the amendment of essential commodities act. The act that empowered the government to impose restrictions on stocking of farm produce will be amended to attract investments and to bring it in tune with the times into the farm sector.

The Finance Minister had also mentioned that no stock limit with be applied to value chain participants and processors after the amendment to the act. She added that such limits will be imposed only in exceptional circumstances such as famine or natural calamities.

As per the Agricultural Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, the amendment to the Essential Commodities Act will relieve the private investors from the fear of excessive regulatory interference.

The proposal was part of the announcement of a 20-trillion economic package to help the affected due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce Ordinance, 2020:

The Union cabinet approved The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 in order to ensure the barrier-free trade in agricultural produce.

The Agricultural minister added that this ordinance will promote barrier-free inter- state and intra- state commerce and trade outside the physical premises of markets notified under State Agricultural Produce marketing legislations. He mentioned it as a historic step in unlocking the vastly regulated agricultural markets in the country.

The Farmers Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020:

The Union cabinet also approved The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020. This step will empower the farmers to engage with aggregators, processors, large retailers, wholesalers, and exporters on a level playing field without any fear of exploitation. 

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