Onion, potato brought under the purview Essential Commodities Act

02 July 2014

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the inclusion of onion and potato under the purview of stock holding limits under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

This will empower the state governments to undertake de-hoarding operations and to control the prices of onions and potatoes.

The notification bringing onions and potatoes under stock holding limits will be issued by Thursday, union minister of law and telecom Ravi Shankar Prasad said after the CCEA meeting.

This along with the decision to raise the minimum export prices of the two commodities is expected to help tackle the problem of rising prices of these commodities and improve availability to the general public, especially vulnerable sections.

The Stock Control Orders enable state governments to continue to take effective de-hoarding operations under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 by fixing stock limits/licensing requirements etc in respect of these commodities, especially in view of rising prices, an official release said, adding, the central government has already empowered state governments to fix stock holding limits etc as per local conditions and to undertake de-hoarding operations commensurate with the objective of the central orders.

This is the first time that vegetables have been brought under stock holding limit.

The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 was enacted to ensure the easy availability of essential commodities to consumers and to protect them from exploitation by unscrupulous traders. The Act provides for the regulation and control of production, distribution and pricing of commodities, which are declared as essential for maintaining or increasing supplies or for securing their equitable distribution and availability at fair prices.

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