Soya Meal As An Essential Commodity:
The government has notified, under the Essential Commodities Act 1955, to declare ‘soya meal’ as an essential commodity up to 30th June, 2022.
- This step is expected to stop any unfair practises (like hoarding, black marketing etc) in the market having the potential to hike the prices of soya meal.
- This will also enhance the availability of the commodity for consumers like poultry farms and cattle feed manufacturers.
About Soybean Meal:
- Soybean meal is the most important protein source used to feed farm animals. It is also used for human consumption in some countries.
- It represents nearly two-thirds of the total world output of protein feedstuffs, including all other major oil meals and fish meals.
- Soybean meal is the by-product of the extraction of soybean oil.
About Essential Commodities Act 1955:
- The ECA Act 1955, was legislated at a time when the country was facing a scarcity of foodstuffs due to persistent low levels of foodgrains production.
- The country was dependent on imports and assistance (such as wheat import form the US under PL-480) to feed the population.
- To prevent hoarding and black marketing of foodstuffs, the Essential Commodities Act was enacted in 1955.
- Essential Commodity: There is no specific definition of essential commodities in the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
- Section 2(A) states that an “essential commodity” means a commodity specified in the Schedule of the Act.
- The Act gives powers to the central government to add or remove a commodity in the Schedule.
- The Centre, if it is satisfied that it is necessary to do so in public interest, can notify an item as essential, in consultation with state governments.
- The ECA 1955 is used to curb inflation by allowing the Centre to enable control by state governments of trade in a wide variety of commodities.
- The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, implements the Act.
- By declaring a commodity as essential, the government can control the production, supply, and distribution of that commodity, and impose a stock limit.