Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 7
The government has decided to discontinue face masks and hand sanitisers as essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act 1955 (ECA), according to a Consumer Affairs Ministry notification.
“As on date, there are no adverse reports from States/ Union Territories with respect to price and availability for face masks and hand sanitisers. Therefore the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Department of Consumers Affairs, has decided not to continue these items as essential commodities under the EC Act 1955 beyond 30.06.2030, “ said a ministry memorandum dated July 1, 2020
The government had put masks and hand sanitisers under EECA up to June 30, 2020 to ensure proper availability of these items in the market at the correct price given the outbreak of coronavirus.
“Keeping in view that surgical masks, N95 masks and hand sanitizers are being available at great difficulty or at exorbitant prices, the government has declared these items as essential commodities by amending the Schedule of the Essential Commodities Act 1955,” it said marking the items as essential commodities in March.
Earlier, the recommendation, as per a memorandum dated June 16, was that as lockdown has been relaxed, the demand for hand sanitisers may increase shortly.
Therefore "its continued availability is of paramount importance" and "to ensure its availability at affordable rates" the validity should be increased till December 31, 3020.
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