Kochi, Feb 23: Kerala Food and Civil Supplies Minister C Divakaran today said the government has prepared a draft Bill to stop private parties from procuring, storing and distributing essential commodities in the state.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing Kerala Agri Fair here, Mr Divakaran said '' as per the amendment of the Essential Commodties Act by the Centre in 2002, private companies were also given the right to procure and store essential commodities. This has led to the rise in prices of these commodities.'' ''As the Centre's amendment was currently in force, we are awaiting its approval of the draft Bill to be presented in the Assembly,'' he noted.
Prior to the 2002 amendment, only government agencies were allowed to store and distribute essential commdities as per Essential Commodities Act, 1955.