The central government has amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, to allow it to fix the retail prices of essential commodities like sugar and pulses, PTI reported on Tuesday. The amended rule will apply to relevant goods being sold in both loose and packaged forms in retail markets.

However, a Consumer Affairs Ministry official said prices will only be changed in “extraordinary situations when retail prices shoot up abnormally”, and not on an everyday basis. The official said the amendment will help the Centre in protecting the interests of consumers. Currently, the retail prices of essential commodities are controlled by market circumstances.

The Narendra Modi-led government has been tackling a price rise in pulses, with the rate for some touching almost Rs 200 per kilogram in June because of droughts in several parts of the country. Steps such as an increase in imports as well as a hike in the Minimum Support Price were taken to check the rise in prices. A spike in the cost of food items like vegetables and fruits caused inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index to go up to 3.35% in July, from 1.62% in June.