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FPI seeks expansion in representation in Food Authority

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 10 (UNI) The Food Processing Industry (FPI) has urged the Government that in the composition of Food Authority, the representation of the industry be increased from the present two to six persons.

It has also recommended that the Administrative Ministry for implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Bill (FSSB) should be the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

''To ensure transparency, rationality and objectivity, it is important to provide a procedure of a neutral Review Panel to decide on the applicability of compounding of fine or prosecution according to the nature of violation. This discretion should not lie with a Departmental Officer which would naturally bring coercion, corrupt practices and 'Inspector Raj' defeating the very purpose of the Bill,'' All India Food Processors' Association (AIFPA) said in a release issued here today.

AIFPA President P L Kaul said that the Bill should provide clear grading of violations on a scientific basis laying distinction between Labeling defects, Extraneous Matter Defects, Substandard and Unsafe Food, with levels of penalties according to the extent of the violation.

The provision of 'forfeiture of establishment or property' must be withdrawn from the Bill and the law should focus on corrective measures rather an prosecution for every case. Penalties running into lakhs of rupees with imprisonment for even minor violations would bring 'Inspector Raj' and kill innovation, growth and small industry, Mr Kaul warned.

He said after FSSB 2005 was made available to the industry, it was found that there were a lot of aberrations in the Bill as hostile to the growth of food industry, as being badly bureaucratic leaving no provision for due representation to the industry.

The food processing industry was deeply concerned about the multiplicity of Food Laws, their regulations and implementation which amounted to harrassment to the industry during the last 50 years and that was the main reason to withhold the corporate sector from venturing into food processing sector, Mr Kaul added.


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