The government has announced to bring masks (2 ply and 3 ply surgical masks, N95 masks) and hand sanitizer into the category of the essential item by June 30, in view of the increasing cases of coronavirus infection in the country. According to the order issued by the government, the mask and hand sanitizer will be classified as essential items till 30 June.
Steps were taken to deal with black marketing
After the spread of coronavirus infection, this step has been taken to tackle the shortage and black marketing of these two products. This will enable people to get masks and sanitizers at reasonable rates and will prevent their hoarding and black marketing. This decision has been taken by the Government and the States / UTs to regulate the production, quality, distribution etc. of masks and hand sanitizers and to facilitate the sale and availability of these goods.
Action will be taken against those who violate the order
Strict action will be taken against those who violate the order or those involved in their black marketing. Violations of the Essential Commodities Act can lead to a jail term of 7 years or fine or both. At the same time, under the Prevention of Black Market and Supply of Essential Commodities Act, he can be put under house arrest for a maximum period of 6 months.
What is the Essential Commodities Act?
Ensuring the supply of goods falling under the Essential Commodities Act and selling them at the maximum retail price i.e. MRP is the responsibility of the State Governments and the State Government also has the power to take action against black marketing.