States' power to act against wheat hoarding to get extension
The Centre has decided to extend the validity of power it granted to state governments, under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, for another six months to enable them take action against hoarding of wheat and pulses.
The Union Cabinet gave its approval for issuing a Central Order under section 3 of the Act for extending the validity of its earlier notification for another six months beyond 29th February, an official statement said.
The Centre had issued a notification on 29th August 2006 for a period of six months and the same has been extended from time to time.
The central government had asked the states to take stringent measures against hoarding of foodgrain when the rate of inflation had crossed the 6 percent mark last year.
Under the Act, the states can register cases against persons engaged in hoarding of agricultural commodities and the offenders can be imprisoned for a period of up to six months.
The government is worried that the inflation rate, which is hovering around 4 percent now, may go up in the coming days on the impact of a recent hike in petrol and diesel prices.
The prices of pulses have began firming up in the domestic market and the government is finding it difficult to import wheat at reasonable prices.
The Essential Commodities Act, 1955, provides for the control of production, supply and distribution of certain commodities identified as essential under the Act to protect the interest of consumers.