Maharashtra Government Forms Panel to Fix Rates of Masks and Sanitizers

Published: July 16, 2020

The Government of Maharashtra has decided to set up a panel in order to fix the reasonable rates for the purchase of masks and sanitizers. The panel will take stock of the demand and supply situation in the state and also consider the cost of production before deciding on a fixed rate for these items. The Law and Judiciary Department of the State has also been taken into confidence in order to give the legal advice regarding any such capping of rates.

The decision has been taken in order to make sure that no malpractice is followed in the sale of the essential items during the COVID 19 pandemic situation. The state has also asked the Central Government to declare these two commodities as the Essential Commodities so that the prices can be determined and regulated by the government. The reason has been cited as the unavailability of any vaccine against COVID 19 and the importance of taking precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.

The State Government is committed to keep the rates affordable for the citizens in the state at any cost.

Essential Commodities Act 1955

This act was passed in order to regulate the supply of some items that are very essential such as drugs, fertilizers, pulses etc and by this; the government has desired to keep the rates affordable for the common public. The government can add items as and when required, in the list and then can remove them again when the situation improves. As per the provisions of this act, the government can also declare the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of any commodity declared as essential under this act. The powers of the central government have been delegated already to the states to regulate the prices of essential commodities.

The Government of India had declared the masks and hand sanitizers as essential commodities in March 2020 but the same has been removed from the list recently.

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