New Delhi: For the enhancement of farm sector, the Union Government on Wednesday approved an amendment to Essential Commodities Act to liberalise regulatory environment for farmers.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said, ” We have made farmer friendly amendments to the Essential Commodities Act. The regulatory environment has been liberalized for farmers through this decision. This is a landmark decision which will benefit and transform the agriculture sector.”
“There is an abundance of agricultural products. Through this decision, farmers have been freed from the Agricultural Producer Market Committee. The farmers will now have the freedom to sell the product anywhere to whoever makes better payment. We have moved towards One Nation One Market,” he said.
With the amendment to Essential Commodities Act, commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes will be removed from list of essential commodities. This will remove fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference.
The freedom to produce, hold, move, distribute and supply will lead to harnessing of economies of scale and attract private sector/foreign direct investment into agriculture sector. It will help drive up investment in cold storages and modernization of food supply chain.
The Government, while liberalizing the regulatory environment, has also ensured that interests of consumers are safeguarded. It has been provided in the Amendment, that in situations such as war, famine, extraordinary price rise and natural calamity, such agricultural foodstuff can be regulated. However, the installed capacity of a value chain participant and the export demand of an exporter will remain exempted from such stock limit imposition so as to ensure that investments in agriculture are not discouraged.
The amendment announced will help both farmers and consumers while bringing in price stability. It will also prevent wastage of agri-produce that happens due to lack of storage facilities.