After the enforcement of the recent Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) last August, the state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has collected Rs 27.33 crore as licensing and renewal fees from hoteliers, hawkers, among others from the state.
As per the FSSA, all food manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, or distributors of any perishable commodities are now required to have a licence or be registered with the FDA. Earlier urban local bodies such as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had the power to issue licences. Now only state FDAs can issue licences.
“We have registered and renewed licences of about 68% of hotels, food dealers, hawkers in the state. While the deadline for renewal of licences and registration was December 31, we are giving people some more time to approach us,” said GH Rathod, joint commissioner (food), FDA.
Hoteliers who procured licences are wary about the implementation of the new law. “The new Act is very stringent. The standard of cleanliness and maintenance of records that are expected cannot be maintained even in a five-star hotel, let alone a small establishment,” said Sudhakar Shetty, president, Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHAR).