The committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, which has members from 13 parties including BJP, Congress, TMC, AAP, NCP and Shiv Sena, has asked the govt to implement the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 in “letter and spirit.”

The Act is one among the three contentious farm laws against which farmers are protesting. The stated position of most of those parties is against all three laws; the Congress wants them repealed.

In its report tabled in Lok Sabha on Friday, the committee, which is headed by the TMC’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay, said it “hope[s] and expect[s] that the recently enacted ‘The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020’ which was aimed toward addressing the difficulty will become a catalyst for unlocking vast untapped resources within the agriculture sector by creating an environment for enhanced investments…, fair and productive competition in agricultural marketing and increase farmers’ income”.

The committee, therefore, recommended to the govt “to implement the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 in letter and spirit, and without let or hindrances in order that the farmers and other stakeholders of farming sector during this country receive the advantages intended under the said Act”.

The report on ‘Price Rise of Essential Commodities – Causes and Effects’ noted that “although the country has become surplus in most agricultural commodities, farmers are unable to urge better prices thanks to lack of investment in cold storage, warehouses, processing and export as entrepreneurs stated to be get discouraged by the regulatory mechanisms within the Essential Commodities Act, 1955”