The Indian government has recently approved an amendment to the Essential Commodities Act to deregulate food items.
Farm produce like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes will be removed from the list of essential commodities, thereby transforming the farm sector, according to the Agriculture Ministry.
Amending the 65-year-old act is among the measures Indian Finance Minister announced last month as part of the special economic package to revive the Coronavirus-battered economy.
“Long-pending agrarian reforms will enable the transformation of the (agriculture) sector,” said Indian PM Narendra Modi.
In addition to this, the government also approved ‘The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020’ to ensure barrier-free trade in agriculture produce.
#Cabinet approved 'The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020'. The Ordinance will create an ecosystem where the farmers and traders will enjoy freedom of choice of sale and purchase of agri-produce: @nstomar pic.twitter.com/bCfU0KI0lU
— PIB India (@PIB_India) June 3, 2020
In order to empower farmers to engage with processors, aggregators, wholesalers, large retailers and exporters, the government decided to promulgate ‘The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020’ as well.