Throwing norms to the wind, Hotel Mountview, a flagship five -star hotel of the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation Limited (CITCO), is functioning without the mandatory licence required under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
The Act, which was implemented in 2011, aims at regulating manufacturing of food articles, storage, distribution and sale to ensure availability of hygienic, wholesome and free of contaminants food items.
0Small-scale food business operators with annual turnover of not above Rs 12 lakh are required to get registered by paying an annual fee of Rs 100, while large-scale units having turnover of above Rs 12 lakh should operate after getting a licence.
The registration is renewed every year. As per norms defined under the Act, CITCO is liable for punishment for carrying out business without licence. The Act says if any person or food business operator - except the persons exempted from licensing under sub-section ( 2) of section 31 of this Act - himself or by any person on his behalf who is required to obtain licence, sells, stores or distributes or imports any article of food without licence will be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and also with a fine which may extend to Rs 5 lakh.
According to sources, the issue was taken up earlier this year, but in vain.
Hotel Mountview of ficiating general manager Jagan Chaudhary said their chef left the job as a result the process got delayed. “Due to model code of conduct, we have not been able to find a replacement,” rued Chaudhary.
When contacted, CITCO managing director Tanvi Garg said the process for getting licence was underway and we would get it very shortly.
It has been learnt that the Chandigarh administration has online food licensing/registration system (FLRS) to facilitate food business operators (FBOs) to file and track their applications.
The administration had set the system on February 4, 2013, for all FBOs to obtain a food licence.
Over the years, there has been a steep decline in the revenue of the corporation. CITCO has earned cash profit of Rs 1.52 crore in the 10- month period ending January 31, 2014, against the profit of Rs 2.86 crore achieved in the cor responding period last year.
According to sources, the profit is down due to decrease in profitability of Hotel Mountview, which has sustained a loss of Rs 1.82 crore against a profit of Rs 2.21 crore achieved in the corresponding period last year.