The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 aims to create a positive environment not only for farmers but also for consumers and investors

The Parliament passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020 with provisions to remove commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion, and potatoes from the list of essential commodities on Tuesday. The government says that the amendment will create a positive environment for the farmers and consumers and will help the government to double the farmers’ income.

The bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha on September 15, 2020, aims to remove fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference in their business operations.

During the discussion on the Bill before it was passed by the Rajya Sabha today, the Minister of States for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Danve Raosaheb Dadarao said that this amendment is required to prevent wastage of agri-produce due to lack of storage facilities.

He further noted that the amendment aims to create a positive environment not only for farmers but also for consumers and investors and will make our country self-reliant or Aatmnirbhar.

The Minister said that this amendment will strengthen the overall supply chain mechanism of the agriculture sector and will also help to achieve the government’s promise to double the farmer’s income by promoting investment in this sector and promote ease of doing business.

The amendment notes that in situations such as war, famine, extraordinary price rise, and natural calamity, such agricultural foodstuff can be regulated.

However, it notes that the export demand of an exporter will remain exempted from such stock limit imposition to ensure that investments in agriculture are not discouraged.

It is expected that the freedom to produce, hold, move, distribute, and supply will lead to the harnessing of economies of scale and attract the private sector and foreign direct investment into the agriculture sector.