Masks, sanitizers now essential commodities-THE HINDU-14-02-2020
On March 13, the Centre notified an order under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to declare 2 ply and 3 ply surgical masks, N95 masks and hand sanitisers as essential commodities till June 30, 2020. It has been noted that these products are “either not available with most of the vendors in the market or are available with great difficulty at exorbitant prices”, said a statement from the Consumer Affairs Department. States can now notify the Central order in their own official gazettes, and ask manufacturers to enhance production capacity of these products, said the statement. The decision would also empower the State and Central governments to regulate production, quality, distribution and sales of these items and carry out operations against those involved in speculation, overpricing and black marketing.
The decision would empower the States and the Central government to regulate the production, quality, distribution, and sale of these items, and carry out operations against those involved in speculation, overpricing and black marketing.
An offender under the Essential Commodities Act can be punished with imprisonment up to seven years, or a fine, or both.