The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has demanded the government to constitute a joint committee of officials and trade leaders, to make an in-depth study of the Food Safety and Standards Act and recommend necessary changes in it. The Chamber has been making efforts with the CAIT to get the Act deferred, and also to review its strict provisions, which are harsh for the trading community.
The Act, in the present shape is applicable not only on traders, but also has wider implications on common man, as wherever the food items are served for profit or non-profit motives in restaurants, eating joints, religious places, wedding ceremonies, social functions, seminars, meetings and social services like midday meals, the government would be under the purview of the Act.
The continuation of food trade without registration would attract a fine of `5 lakh and imprisonment of 6 months.
Even the entrepreneurs/people involved in processing, packing, storage, transportation, distribution of food items would be liable to comply the provisions of the Act.
Chamber of Commerce & Industry president YV Sharma thanked the CIET, especially general secretary Parveen Khandwal, who undertook a massive exercise and finally succeeded in persuading the government of India, especially the union health and family welfare minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, to postpone the implementation of the said Act for at least 6 months and appoint a committee to review and recommend the amendments in the provisions of the said Act.
The government has issued notification no. 1/1/Enf-1/FSSAI/2012 dated February4,2014, extending the time line for seeking registration / conversion / renewal of existing licenses up to August4,2014.