Essential Commodities

Under the Essential Commodities Act 1955, the State Governments/UT Administrations have issued various control orders to regulate various aspects of trading in essential commodities such as foodgrains, edible oils, pulses, kerosene and sugar etc. The Central Government regularly monitors the action taken by State Governments/UT Administrations to implement the provisions of the Act.

The Government is empowered to enlist any class of commodity as essential commodity as well as regulate or prohibit the production, supply, distribution, price and trade in any of these commodities for the following purposes :-

  • Maintaining or increasing their supplies.
  • Equitable distribution and availability at fair prices of the commodities concerned.
  • Securing any essential commodity for the defence of India or the efficient conduct of military operations.

Essential Commodities in India have been declared in section 2 of Essential Commodities Act, 1955. The essential commodities in India are as follows:

  • Cattle fodder, including oilcakes and other concentrates.
  • Coal, including coke and other derivatives.
  • Components parts and accessories of automobiles.
  • Cotton and woollen textiles.
  • Foodstuffs, including edible oilseeds and oils.
  • Iron and Steel, including manufactured products of Iron & Steel.
  • Paper, including newsprint, paperboard and strawboard.
  • Petroleum and Petroleum products.
  • Raw Cotton, either ginned or unginned and cotton seed.
  • Raw Jute.

The following commodities are also declared as essential through notifications:

  • Jute textiles.
  • Fertilizer, whether inorganic, organic or mixed.
  • Yarn made wholly from cotton.
  • seeds of food crops and seeds of fruits and vegetables,
  • seeds of cattle fodder and
  • Jute seeds.

The list of commodities declared as “essential” under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 is reviewed from time to time in the light of changes in the economic situation and particularly with regard to their production and supply.

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