Parliament passed the 2020 Essential Commodities Amendment Bill

Under the Bill, with provisions to remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, potatoes and onions from the list of essential commoditie
Sheena

Updated: Sep 22, 2020 08:40:22 pm

Parliament passed the 2020 Essential Commodities Amendment Bill

22 September 2020 Current Affairs:Rajya Sabha passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 on 22 September. The bill was introduced by the Minister of State (MoS) for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Danve Raosaheb Dadarao on 14th September 2020 in the Lok Sabha. The Bill will replace ordinances promulgated on 5th June 2020. The bill was passed by the lower house on 15th September 2020.

Highlights:
♦ Under the Bill, with provisions to remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, potatoes and onions from the list of essential commodities. 
♦ The EC (Amendment) Bill 2020 aims to remove fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference in their business operations. 
♦ The Bill seeks to produce, distribute and supply to harness the economies of scale and attract private sector/foreign direct investment (FDI) into the agriculture sector. 
♦ The Bill aims to drive up investment in cold storages and modernization of the food supply chain.

Background:
The Bill was introduced as India has become a surplus in most Agri-commodities. The farmers have been unable to get better prices due to lack of investment in cold storage, warehouses, processing and export due to the Essential Commodities Act. Farmers suffer huge losses, especially of perishable commodities. It is expected that the Bill will drive up the investment in cold storages and modernization of the food supply chain. The Bill is expected to serve both farmers and consumers while bringing in price stability; create a competitive market environment; prevent wastage of agri-produce that happens due to lack of storage facilities.
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