Hon'ble CM's Report gives 20 recommendations with 64 actionable points and emphasizing;
• Ban on Future trading of Essential Commodities
• Set up Price Stabilization Fund by Government of India
• set up a Ministerial level Coordination mechanism at the National and the Regional level for coordinated policy making
• Priority sector lending to Agri-marketing activities
• Speedy Reform of APMC Act across the Country and Liberalization of Agri-markets
• Time bound development of Agri-marketing infrastructure including storage capacities in food deficit regions, cold chain, agro-processing etc.
• Unbundling of FCI operations of procurement, storage and distribution
• Increase competition by promoting retailing by organized sector and cooperatives.
Shri Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Chairman of the Working Group on Consumer Affairs, submitted the Report of Working Group to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh in the presence of Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Professor K. V. Thomas, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Food, Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs, Minister of State in PMO Shri V. Narayanasamy, at Prime Minister's residence.
The Working Group on Consumer Affairs was constituted on 8th April, 2010, finalized its Report earlier in January 2011 by the Committee led by Shri Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Gujarat with other member Chief Ministers of States of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Unlike the usual practice of voluminous reports often bordering along academic approach, the Modi Committee Report is a precise document which gives 20 recommendations with 64 detailed actionable points that will facilitate expeditious implementation of the Report.
With regard to the Future Markets and considering lack of strong linkages between spot and future markets at present, the Modi Committee Report has suggested that for the time being, essential commodities should be kept out of the Future Market.
The Modi Committee Report has suggested setting up of a Price Stabilization Fund by Govt. of India to help State Government for procurement and distribution of essential commodities in short supply.
Some of the major recommendations made in the Modi Committee Report include liberalization of Agriculture Markets for improving the efficiency of distribution channel from farms to consumer, increasing participation of organized sector/ cooperatives in retailing including farmers’ markets, agro- processing, storage and cold chains for wastage control and reduction, proactive monetary policy etc.
For evolving 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.
In addition, the Modi Committee Report has recommended enlarging the scope of priority sector lending such that the Agriculture Marketing activities are also be made eligible and the ratio of priority sector lending to the agriculture sector should also be raised further from the current level of 18%.
To minimize information asymmetry in the Agriculture Market, the Modi Committee Report also calls 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 Technology.
Since, the FCI plays a major role in procurement and distribution system of essential commodities, a suggestion has been made to explore unbundling of FCI operation in terms of procurement, storage and distribution functions.
Further, the Modi Committee Report has also emphasized preparation of a 10-year Perspective Plan for improving Agri-infrastructure of backward and forward linkages for Agriculture Production and Marketing.
The Modi Committee Report has also recommended that offences under Section 10-A under the Essential Commodities Act should be made non-bailable and Special Courts should be set up for speedy trial of offences under the E.C. Act.
In addition, the Modi Committee Report also recommends that the period of preventive detention under the PBM Act (Black Marketing Act in common parlance) should be increased from six months to one year.