PM Modi cabinet meet: Centre amends Essential Commodities Act; other relief measures for farmers ann

Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the amendment of the Essential Commodities Act allowing farmers to sell their produce in any market across India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet today approved several measures to help farmers double their incomes.

Announcing the decision at a press briefing, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the move would help farmers get better compensation for their produce.

"We are all moving towards One Nation, One Market," Javadekar said after the Cabinet meeting.

"Anaj (vegetables), oil, onion, and potato have been removed from under the Essential Commodities Act. Farmers can now store their produce, sell to whoever they want. The Act may be invoked only when there is a natural calamity, war, or price rise," he added.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who was also present at the briefing, said that the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet are historic and will help farmers get the freedom to sell their produce outside the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), even on electronic platforms. No taxes will be imposed on the sale of farmers' produce outside APMC markets; the cabinet decided. The Centre also accepted the Swaminathan report permitting 50% higher MSP than input cost for farmers.

This is the second time the Union Cabinet has met this month. The first meeting was held on June 1 when the Modi-led NDA government entered its second year in office.

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