Face masks, hand sanitisers no more under Essential Commodities Act, says Centre

A decision in this regard was taken after consultation with the state governments as there is a sufficient supply of these two items.
A man wearing a designer face mask is seen on a city street during Unlock 1.0 in Kolkata. (Photo | PTI)
A man wearing a designer face mask is seen on a city street during Unlock 1.0 in Kolkata. (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Face masks and hand sanitisers are no more essential products as their supply is sufficient in the country and, therefore, are now kept out of the purview of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, Consumer Affairs Secretary Leena Nandan said on Tuesday.

On March 13, the Union consumer affairs ministry had declared face masks and hand sanitisers as essential commodities for 100 days to boost supply and prevent hoarding of these items in its fight to check the spread of coronavirus.

"These two products were declared as essential items till June 30. We are not extending further as there is enough supply in the country," Nandan told PTI.

A decision in this regard was taken after consultation with the state governments, she said.

"We have checked with all states and got information from them that there is sufficient supply of these two items. There is no supply concern," she added.

Masks (2-ply and 3-ply surgical masks, N95 masks) and hand sanitisers were brought under the Essential Commodities Act, empowering states to regulate production, distribution and prices of these items and also crackdown on hoarding and blackmarketing.

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