Coronavirus Pandemic: Masks, Hand Sanitizers Declared Essential Commodities By Govt To Ensure Availability In MarketRepresentative Image

The government has declared masks and hand sanitizers as ‘essential commodities’ under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 in a bid to curb the hoarding and ensure proper availability of these items amid the Coronavirus scare, reports Livemint.

The government has notified an Order under the Essential Commodities Act to declare these items as Essential Commodities up to 30 June 2020 by amending the Schedule of the Essential Commodities (EC) Act, 1955, said an official release.

The Centre has also issued an advisory under the Legal Metrology Act, which empowers authorities to ensure the sale of an item at MRP.

The decision has empowered the Centre as well states to regulate the production, quality, distributions of masks and hand sanitizers, and also to smoothen sale and availability of these items, and carry out operations against speculators.

Under the EC Act, after discussions with the manufacturers, states can ask them to enhance their production capacity of these items, to make the supply chain smooth.

The step has been taken in view of the "ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 and concern of the logistics for COVID-19 management, particularly during last couple of weeks, and that masks and hand sanitizers have been noted to either not available with most of the vendors in the market or are available with difficult difficulty at exorbitant prices," said the release.

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