was touted as a “precise document” that gave specific recommendations with 64 detailed actionable points that will facilitate “expeditious implementation of the report”.
The other key recommendations include a ban on future trading of essential commodities, the setting up of a central price stabilisation fund, a ministerial-level coordination mechanism at the national and the regional levels for coordinated policy making. The measures also include specific interventions such as a time-bound development of agri-marketing infrastructure, including storage capacities in food deficit regions, cold chain, agro-processing, and increasing competition by promoting retailing by organised sector and cooperatives.
The report also suggested the setting up of a price stabilization fund by the central government to help state governments procure and distribute essential commodities in short supply. For evolving a single national agriculture market, the Modi committee report has recommended to set up a “ministerial-level coordination mechanism at the national and the regional level for coordinated policy making”. Enlarging the scope of priority sector lending such as that to agriculture marketing activities is also be made eligible was another key recommendation. To minimise information asymmetry in the agriculture market, the Modi committee report also called for establishing a mechanism, if necessary by creating a dedicated agency, to collect and widely disseminate information to all stakeholders on production, import, stocks and overall availability of essential commodities besides extensive use of the information.
The Modi panel also recommended that offences under Section 10-A under the Essential Commodities Act should be made non-bailable and that special courts be set up for speedy trial of offences under the legislation. In addition, the report also stipulated that the period of preventive detention under the Prevention of Black-marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980, should be increased from six months to one year.