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Cabinet approves historic amendment to Essential Commodities Act

Briefing media after the Cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, with the amendment to Essential Commodities Act, commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes have been removed from list of essential commodities.

He said, the decision will ensure better price for farmers’ produce and also remove fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference.

Javadekar said, while India has become surplus in most agri-commodities and farmers are unable to get better prices due to lack of investment in cold storage, processing and export as the entrepreneurial spirit gets dampened due to hanging sword of Essential Commodities Act.

He said, now the amendment will give freedom to produce, hold, move, distribute and supply will lead to harnessing of economies of scale and attract investment into agriculture sector.

Javadekar said that Union Cabinet has also approved setting up of an Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS) and Project Development Cells (PDCs) in Ministries and Departments to attract investments in the country.

This new mechanism will reinforce India’s vision of becoming a five trillion economy by 2024-25.

Javadekar said that this will make India a more investment-friendly destination and give fillip to domestic industries.

He said it will bring about synergies between Ministries and Departments and among the Central and State Governments in investment and related incentive policies.

Besides, the Union Cabinet has also given its approval to re-establish Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy as Subordinate Office under Ministry of AYUSH.

Javadekar said, the commission will be established by merging into it two Central Laboratories- Pharmacopoeia Laboratory for Indian Medicine (PLIM) and Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory (HPL) located at Ghaziabad.

The Cabinet also decided to rename Kolkata Port Trust as Kolkata Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust.

The Union Cabinet also gave its  approval for signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of  Bhutan on Cooperation in the areas of Environment.

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