India

Coronavirus lockdown: Invoke Essential Commodities Act, Centre asks states

Coronavirus lockdown: Invoke Essential Commodities Act, Centre asks states
Customers maintain social distance while purchasing items outside a store at C R Park in New Delhi. (Express photo/Tashi Tobgyal)

Amid disruptions in the supply of essentials and fears of hoarding by traders, the Centre has asked the states to invoke the Essential Commodities Act to ensure smooth supply chains.

“Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla has written to all state chief secretaries to take urgent steps to ensure availability of essential goods, by invoking provisions of the Essential Commodities (EC) Act 1955. These measures include fixing of stock limits, capping of prices, enhancing production, inspection of accounts of dealers and other such actions,” a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs said Wednesday. According to the Ministry, there have been reports of loss of production due to various factors, especially lower labour supply.