New regulations that will gradually replace existing provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act from early next year envisage more powers for the states like appointment of Food Safety Commissioners and setting up of Adjudication and Food Safety Tribunals.
"The Act empowers the states to regulate food business and mandates to appoint Food Safety Commissioners, Designated Officers (for issuing or cancelling licences of Food Business Operators) and Food Safety Officer," Director of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), SB Dongre, told PTI.
The new regulations are being rolled out to plug many loopholes in the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, like multiple standards setting or enforcement agencies, thin spread of manpower and varied quality or safety standards, he said.
According to the new rules, the state government shall notify Adjudicating Officer not below the rank of Additional District Magistrate. "Appellate Tribunals are to be set up by states to hear cases against orders of the Adjudicating officer," the official said.
Till now, the monitoring and enforcement officers were appointed by the Centre.
However, both Central and state governments are empowered to constitute special courts for trial of offences relating to grievous injury or death of the consumer, Dongre said.