The Food Safety and Standards Act is not in harmony with the 'Make in India'. The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and remove "irritants" in the Food Safety and Standards Act.
Chamber president, N.Jegatheesan said the Act contained several inconsistent and impractical provisions, which would penalise those in food sector business.
Product approval has been a major issue that FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) is faced with as piles of product approval applications from both domestic manufacturers as well as food importers are awaiting clearance from the apex food authority.
"We welcome the intention of the Act but it should be enforced only after making necessary changes to make it business-friendly. Food processing sector offers vast manufacturing and employment scope. However, the provisions in that Act are not in tune with the Prime Minister's 'Make in India' initiative," he noted.
He said, the Act made it compulsory for food business operators with an annual turnover of up to Rs.12 lakh to get registered and for those who exceeded that turnover to obtain licence by paying a fee of Rs.2,000 every year.
"This licensing mandate will severely impede the growth of food-related business and pave way for re-advent of licence raj. We appeal to the Centre to withdraw the licensing requirement and make only registration mandatory," he said.
Union health minister J.P.Nadda said, "This will not only clear the approval of several pending proposals for food products but will also give much-needed push to the domestic food processing industry, while not compromising on quality and safety of food products."