Masks, sanitisers put under Essential Commodities Act

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Mar 13, 2020

The Centre on Friday brought masks and hand sanitisers under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (EC Act) to make sure that these products, key for preventing the spread of Covid-19 infection, are available to people at the right price and in the right quality.

Taking note of the fact that masks (2ply and 3ply surgical masks and N95 masks) and hand sanitisers are not easily available and vendors are charging exorbitant prices for them, the government declared these items as essential commodities till June 30 under the EC Act, an official statement said here.

Under this Act, the States and Union Territories can ask manufacturers to enhance their production capacity so that these products are widely available to consumers. Under the Act, an offender may be punished with an imprisonment up to seven years.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry has also invoked the Prevention of Blackmarketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980 which would carry out action against those involved in overpricing and black marketing of the products.

Published on March 13, 2020
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