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Essential Commodities Act..B.E

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Essential Commodities Act, 1955
The EC Act, 1955 gives powers to control production, supply, distribution etc. of essential commodities for maintaining or increasing supplies and for securing their equitable distribution and availability at fair prices. Using the powers under the Act, various Ministries/Departments of the Central Government have issued Control Orders for regulating production/distribution/quality aspects/movement etc. pertaining to the commodities which are essential and administered by them such as foodgrains, edible oils, pulses kerosene, sugar etc. The Central Government regularly monitors the action taken by State Governments/UT Administrations to implement the provisions of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

The items declared as essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 are reviewed from time to time in the light of liberalized economic policies in consultation with the Ministries/Departments administering the essential commodities. At present the list of essential commodities contains 15 items in which Foodstuffs, including edible oilseeds and oils are under Item no.6 of the List.

Powers to control production, supply, distribution, etc., of essential commodities[11]—
(1) If the Central Government is of opinion that it is necessary or expedient so to do for maintaining or increasing supplies of any essential commodity for the defence of India or the efficient conduct of military operations, it may, by order, provide for regulating, or prohibiting the production supply and distribution thereof

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred by subsection (1), an order made thereunder may provide—

(a) for regulating by licenses, permits or otherwise the production or manufacture of any essential commodity;
(b) for bringing under cultivation any waste or arable land,for the growing thereon of food-crops generally or of specified food-crops;
(c) For controlling the price at which essential commodity may be bought or sold;
(d) For regulating by licences, permits or otherwise the storage, transport, distribution, disposal, acquisition use or consumption of, any essential commodity;
(e) For prohibiting the withholding from sale of any essential commodity ordinarily kept for sale.
(g) for regulating or prohibiting any class of commercial or financial transactions relating to foodstuffs or cotton textiles which, in the opinion of the authority making the order, are, or, if unregulated, are likely to be, detrimental to the public interest;

(Penalties [12]
(1) If any person contravenes any order made under section 3,—
(a) He shall be punishable-in the case of an order made with reference to clause (h) or clause (i) of sub-section (2) of that section, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and shall also be liable to fine,

A number of quality control orders have been issued under Essential Commodities Act,1955 such as Fruit Products Order,1955; The Solvent Extracted Oil, De-oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967: Milk and Milk Products Order,1992; Meat Food Products Order, 1973 and Vegetable Oils Control (Regulation) Order, 1998;The Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998;…...

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