Because of India's past as a food-insecure country, various laws that restricted trade and storage were adopted, these policies hurt India's image as a reliable trade partner and limited investment in post-harvest facilities. Two Acts, the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) and the Foreign Trade (Development Regulation) Act (FTDR), empower the government to limit warehousing capacity and regulate the trade of commodities.
The ECA allows arbitrary imposition of warehousing capacity that can see warehouses turned criminal overnight. This has meant that investments in warehousing technology are poor. The FTDR enables the government to regulate the trade of all commodities and services. This means that bans on the trade of commodities can be done by an executive decision without any justification. These bans cannot be challenged judicially. Whenever the prices of commodities like onions or wheat go up, the government issues bans and limits the trade rights of farmers. The uncertainty causes distress and distrust, and hurts farmers' lives and livelihoods.
Join us on the 28th of November for a panel discussion with farmer leaders and lawyers to discuss the impact of this uncertainty and how to address it