Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the amendment of the Essential Commodities Act allowing farmers to sell their produce in any market across India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet today approved several measures to help farmers double their incomes.
Announcing the decision at a press briefing, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the move would help farmers get better compensation for their produce.
"We are all moving towards One Nation, One Market," Javadekar said after the Cabinet meeting.
"Anaj (vegetables), oil, onion, and potato have been removed from under the Essential Commodities Act. Farmers can now store their produce, sell to whoever they want. The Act may be invoked only when there is a natural calamity, war, or price rise," he added.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who was also present at the briefing, said that the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet are historic and will help farmers get the freedom to sell their produce outside the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), even on electronic platforms. No taxes will be imposed on the sale of farmers' produce outside APMC markets; the cabinet decided. The Centre also accepted the Swaminathan report permitting 50% higher MSP than input cost for farmers.
This is the second time the Union Cabinet has met this month. The first meeting was held on June 1 when the Modi-led NDA government entered its second year in office.
Here are the key announcements of the Cabinet briefing announced by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar:-
1. The cabinet approved the amendment in Essential Commodities Act and approved removing many items from the act.
2. The Cabinet approved removing restrictions on the sale of farm goods; farmers will be free to sell produce outside Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC).
3. The Cabinet approved the establishment of Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) as Subordinate Office under the Ayush Ministry.
4. The Centre approved a central law to allow inter-state sales of farm goods; approved forming an empowered group to enhance investment.
5. The government approved the setting up of an "Empowered Group of Secretaries (EGoS) & Project Development Cells (PDCs)" in ministries/departments for attracting investments in India.
6. The Kolkata Port Trust has been renamed Syama Prasad Mookerjee Trust.
7. Visa and travel restrictions relaxed to permit certain categories of foreign nationals to come to India.
8. The Centre launched SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) initiative to conduct a skill mapping exercise for returning citizens under the Vande Bharat Mission.
9. The Cabinet approved to establish Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) under the Ministry of Ayush by merging into it Pharmacopoeia Laboratory for Indian Medicine (PLIM) & Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory (HPL)- two central labs based in Ghaziabad.