Govt to make hoarding non-bailable offence

Govt to make hoarding non-bailable offence

Govt to make hoarding non-bailable offence

Cracking the whip on hoarders and black marketers, the government on Friday decided to add teeth to the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) by making hoarding a non-bailable offence.

The Centre will also set up a Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) which would be used to soften the impact of price rise on the common man, particularly during the months of July to November when food inflation remains high.

These decisions were taken at a meeting of food and civil supplies ministers from 26 states and Union territories chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

The corpus of the PSF, which was part of the BJP manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls, is expected to be announced by Jaitley when he presents his first Budget in Parliament next week.

“The PSF will be specifically used for market intervention to stabilise the prices of vegetables and perishable commodities. The states would be able to seek funds from the PSF when they feel that the prices are out of reach of the common man,” a senior government official said. Paswan said ECA will be made more stringent by making offences such as hoarding non-bailable. He said  necessary amendments to the Act would be placed before the Cabinet within a week.

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