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Freedom of Trade, Commerce and Intercourse

The Constitution of India in Part XIII, wide Articles 301 to 305, deals with freedom of Trade, Commerce and Intercourse. Out of these articles, Article 301 creates an overall limitation on all legislative powers of the Union and the State legislature. The bar on state powers to interfere in the free trade, commerce and intercourse (Article 301) is loosened by Article 302,303 and 304. Article 305 provides for state monopoly.

Study of the Articles 302 to 305 will reveal when and how the Constitution of India permits the government to restrict freedom of trade, commerce and intercourse.

Article 301: The trade and commerce throughout the territory of India shall be free and without restriction. The restriction can generally may be way of taxes. The taxes may be compensatory where they are levied for any service provided it is not taken as restriction.

But if the tax is levied to regulate or to prevent certain people from carrying on business, it amounts to restriction.

Thus the object of Article 301 is to break down the barriers between the states and to make the country as one unit with a view to encourage trade and commerce.

Article 302: However, the Parliament can impose restrictions on freedom of trade commerce and intercourse in public interest.

Article 303: The Parliament while imposing restrictions under Article 302, cannot discriminate between different state. However, the parliament can discriminate in case of scarcity of goods.

Article 304: It enables state legislature to impose taxes on goods coming from other states, if goods produced within the state are subjected to such taxes.

Article 305: Any law passed by the Union thereby creating the state monopoly shall not be affected by the provision of Part XIII of the Constitution of India.

Amendment Procedure:

Amendment refers to the process of effecting desired change (s) in the Constitution. It may involve alteration, revision, addition, repeal, variation or deletion of any provision of the Constitution.

The framers of our Constitution did not want to make the Constitution a finite or infallible document. They favoured a flexible Constitution admitting of change and growth. If a Constitution is very rigid, it would not grow. And a Constitution which would not grow would be a bad Constitution.