In Today’s News:
- ADB predicts the Indian economy to shrink by 9%.
- Lok Sabha passes the Essential Commodities Amendment bill.
1. ADB predicts the Indian economy to shrink by 9%
Asian Development Bank has projected that the Indian economy would contract by 9% in this Financial year 2020-2021. ADB has previously predicted in June that the Indian economy would contract by 4% in 2020-2021. ADB also predicts that Indian GDP is expected to fall by 9 percent in the whole of this fiscal year and then grow by 8.0 percent in the next financial year.
Note: Indian economy contraction is not important because the situation will change. But the institution which forecasts is important for UPSC Prelims Exam.
Prelims GS – International Organisations
Click here to know the Prelims content of ADB on 19th June 2020.
2. Lok Sabha passes the Essential Commodities Amendment bill
Lok Sabha passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 on September 5, 2020. The Bill will replace the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Ordinance which was promulgated on 5th June 2020.
Prelims GS – Economic Development/Agriculture
Essential Commodities Act 1955:
The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (10 of 1955) was enacted to regulate the production, supply, and distribution of, and trade and commerce in, certain commodities which are declared as essential commodities and specified in the Schedule to that Act.
Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020-Key Highlights:
- “In section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, after sub-section (1), the following sub-section shall be inserted, namely:—
- ‘(1A) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1),—
- (a) the supply of such foodstuffs, including cereals, pulses, potato, onions, edible oilseeds, and oils, as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, may be regulated only under extraordinary circumstances which may include war, famine, extraordinary price rise and natural calamity of grave nature;
- (b) Any action on imposing stock limit shall be based on price rise and order for regulating the stock limit of any agricultural produce may be issued under this Act only if there is—
(i) hundred percent. increase in the retail price of horticultural produce; or
(ii) fifty percent. increase in the retail price of non-perishable agricultural foodstuffs,
over the price prevailing immediately preceding twelve months, or the average retail price of the last five years, whichever is lower.”
The provisions of the bill regarding the regulation of food items and the imposition of stock limits will however not apply to any government order relating to the Public Distribution System or the Targeted Public Distribution System.
Mains GS3 – Economic Development/Agriculture
Inferences from the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2020:
- The Bill seeks to amend the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and empowers the central government in terms of production, supply, distribution, trade, and commerce of certain commodities.
- It also seeks to increase competition in the agriculture sector and enhance farmers’ income.
- The bill aims to liberalize the regulatory system while protecting the interests of consumers.
- The bill empowers the central government to designate certain commodities including food items, fertilizers, and petroleum products as essential commodities.
- Supply of certain food items including cereals, pulses, potato, onions, edible oilseeds, and oils, can be regulated by the government under extraordinary circumstances as per the provisions of this bill. The extraordinary circumstances include war, famine, extraordinary price rise, and natural calamity of grave nature.
- The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 empowers the central government to regulate the stock of an essential commodity that a person can hold.
Click here to view the official PDF of the Bill.
Click here for Daily current affairs for the UPSC exams on other dates.