Lok Sabha passes Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
The Bill seeks to amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and empowers the central government in terms of production, supply, distribution, trade, and commerce of certain commodities. It also seeks to increase competition in the agriculture sector and enhance farmers’ income. The bill aims to liberalise the regulatory system while protecting the interests of consumers.
The bill empowers the central government to designate certain commodities including food items, fertilizers, and petroleum products as essential commodities. Supply of certain food items including cereals, pulses, potato, onions, edible oilseeds, and oils, can be regulated by the government under extraordinary circumstances as per the provisions of this bill. The extraordinary circumstances include war, famine, extraordinary price rise and natural calamity of grave nature.