Face masks, sanitisers removed from essential commodities list after no ‘adverse complaints’ from states over availability, pricing

Masks and hand sanitisers were listed as essential commodities in March after a sudden spike in the demand and prices of these products owing to the spread of coronavirus

FP Staff July 08, 2020 09:04:46 IST
Face masks, sanitisers removed from essential commodities list after no ‘adverse complaints’ from states over availability, pricing

Face masks and hand sanitisers have been removed from the list of essential commodities, as per an official memorandum by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

The communication from the ministry, dated 1 July, said the decision was taken after feedback from all stakeholders, according to reports. Additionally, no complaints were received from states regarding the availability of masks or hand sanitisers.

“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 30.06.2020,” said the ministry memorandum.

Masks and hand sanitisers were listed as essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 in March after a sudden spike in the demand and prices of these products owing to the spread of coronavirus. The law has stringent provisions to control price and stock of all products under its ambit.

Removing the products from the essential commodities list will allow manufacturers to charge prices for masks and sanitisers depending upon their components and specifications.

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