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Essential Commodities Act (ECA)

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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. The Act aims at maintaining/increasing supplies/securing equitable distribution and availability of these commodities at fair prices.

The State Governments are fully empowered under the Act to regulate production, distribution, supply and prices of the food items which are declared as essential commodities in the respective States. Thus the States are the implementing agencies to implement the EC Act, 1955 and the Prevention of Black marketing & Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980, to ensure adequate availability of essential commodities at reasonable prices, by exercising powers delegated to them. This is reviewed periodically at the National level.

The list of essential commodities is reviewed from time to time with reference to their production and supply and in the light of economic liberalization in consultation with the concerned Ministries/Departments administering these commodities. Currently, the restrictions like licensing requirement, stock limits and movement restrictions have been removed from almost all agricultural commodities. Wheat, pulses and edible oils, edible oilseeds and rice are the exceptions, where States have been permitted to impose some temporary restrictions in order to contain price increase of these commodities.


References

  1. http://consumeraffairs.nic.in
  2. http://mofpi.nic.in


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