Report No. 159
4.3. Ministry of Finance, Department of Company Affairs: Companies (Donation to National Funds) Act, 1951.-
The Department have only stated that they propose to repeal the Act by incorporating the relevant provisions in the Company's Bill, 1997. Extensive amendments to other enactments are said to have been suggested by the Expert Committee constituted by the Ministry. The Commission does not find any of the proposed amendments undesirable.
The Commission, however, seeks to reiterate its comments (made at the inception of this Report) that while the lifting of restrictions may be all right, regulation should continue. In other words, a distinction should be made between restrictions and regulation. Even in a market economy, the Government cannot afford to abdicate its function of regulating the economy. It may not impose restrictions but the overall control and regulation of the entire economy including industrial sector should be in the hands of the Government.
To protect and promote the national interest, the Government ought to exercise overall control over industrial and commercial establishments, their establishment and functioning This is what may be called the regulatory function of the Government. The Law Commission, however, wishes to draw attention of Government of India to section 19 of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act, 1985 read with the items 1, 2, 4 and 9 of the Schedule to the Act. Section 19 and aforesaid items of the schedule read as follows.-
"19 (1) The Central Government may, by order published in the Official Gazette, make provision for prohibiting, restricting or otherwise controlling the import or export of the Scheduled products, either generally or in specified classes of cases.
(2) All Scheduled products to which any order under sub-section (1) applies, shall be deemed to be goods of which the export has been prohibited under section 11 of the Customs Act, 1962, and all the provisions of that Act shall have effect accordingly.
(3) If any person contravenes any order made under sub-section (1), he shall, without prejudice to any confiscation or penalty to which he may be liable under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962, as applied by sub¬section (2), be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both."
1. Fruits, vegetables and their products.
2. Meat and meat products
4. Dairy products.
9. Cereal products."
In view of the acute scarcity and sky-rocketing prices of vegetables, meat and fruits all over the country, driving away these products from the reach of the common man, it would be appropriate that the Government issues a notification prohibiting the export of vegetables, meat (exceluding beef) and fruits altogether. Such prohibition would ensure availability of these products at reasonable rates which alone would enable the poorer sections of the society to purchase and consume them. A separate report on this subject will be submitted in due course.
[Para. 3.4, supra]