New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) In a bid to ensure the availability of masks and hand sanitisers in the market and their sale at MRP in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Central government has decided to bring both the commodities under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs said in a statement on Friday that in view of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and concerns over the logistics for Covid-19 management, particularly during the last couple of weeks, masks (2 ply and 3 ply surgical masks, N95 masks) and hand sanitisers have been noted to be either not available with most of the vendors in the market or are available at exorbitant prices, the government has notified an order under the Essential Commodities Act to declare these two items as essential commodities up to June 30, 2020 by amending the schedule of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
The ministry has also issued an advisory under the Legal Metrology Act. Under the Essential Commodities Act, after discussions with the manufacturers, the states can ask them to enhance their production capacity to make the supply chain smooth, while under the Legal Metrology Act, the states can ensure the sale of both the items at MRP.
The states may now notify the Central order in their official gazette and also issue their own orders under the Essential Commodities Act to that effect and take necessary actions as per the situation prevailing in the respective states, the ministry said.