Masks & hand sanitizer out of essential commodities list from July 1 due to surplus availability

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NEW DELHI: The Essential Commodities Act, which empowers the government to fix price and cap on stock of essential consumer items, is no more applicable on masks and hand sanitisers. The consumer affairs ministry has not extended the applicability of the law to these two items. The notification ended on June 30.
Officials said this has been done considering there is surplus supply of these items and the government has also allowed their exports.
TOI on March 14 had first reported how the ministry had included these two items under the EC Act till June 30 and the pharmaceutical pricing regulator had asked states to ensure there was no black marketing or hoarding of such products. This was done amid reports of the two commodities were flying off the shelf and the prices were also exorbitant in several cases.
The notification as essential commodities will ensure crackdown on selling of any of the listed items above the maximum retail price (MRP) or hoarding them.
Sources said now there is hardly any possibility of artificial jacking of prices as there is more than required quantity after government pushed production of these two items.
The Centre has power to include or delete any item from the essential commodities list.

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