Cabinet Approves Amendments In Essential Commodities Act, To Lift Regulations On Storage And Export

Cabinet Approves Amendments In Essential Commodities Act, To Lift Regulations On Storage And ExportFarmers in a field in Madhya Pradesh. (Rajarshi Mitra/Wikimedia Commons)

The Union Cabinet approved amendments to the Essential Commodities Act to extend benefits to the farmers in the country, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday (3 June).

“We have made farmer friendly amendments to the Essential Commodities Act,” he said.

Addressing the media at the cabinet briefing, Javadekar said, through the amendments, regulatory environment on agricultural products is going to be liberalised for farmers so that they can store or export their commodities without any restrictions and sell them at good price.

Food grains, oil, pulses, oilseeds, potato and other items have been removed from the Essential Commodities Act. “The farmer can now export or store these commodities as he wishes. These are our farmers’ demands pending for nearly 50 years now,” he said.

Terming it a landmark move to benefit crores of Indian farmers, Javadekar said the Act was formed (in 1955) at a time when there was shortage of agricultural production in the country. However, a law to put restrictions on farmer was not required now when in fact there was excess of production, the Minister said.

However, the Minister made it clear that during an emergency-like situation such as natural calamity or a war with another country can the regulations be re-imposed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday had chaired the Cabinet meeting to decide on a number issues amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis the country has been dealing with.

Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar was also present at the press briefing.