DMK seeks reconsideration of some aspects of Food Safety Act

M. Karunanidhi_0.JPG

Chennai: Holding that small traders would not benefit from the Food Safety Act enacted by the Centre, UPA constituent DMK today said it cannot be “welcomed whole heartedly” and sought reconsideration of certain aspects.
Party chief M. Karunanidhi said implementation of Food Safety and Standards Act will face “interference” from officials.
“While the intentions of the Act are true, many provisions are not practical and are against small traders. It is compulsory for many, including food products manufacturers, even street-vendors to register and obtain licence,” he said in a party statement.
The provisions included fine amounts leading to “lakhs of rupees” and jail terms if rodents or cockroaches are found in the shops.
“This is a dangerous provision. Licence should be obtained for the vehicle transporting goods and this is not practical. Further, with Food Safety officials (allowed) to carry out checks anywhere, traders could face many difficulties,” he said.
Packing of food had been made mandatory but products are also given in retail and the specification would not only affect sellers, but also buyers who have to shell out additional amounts for packaged goods, he said.
Besides, he said citing the provisions, details should be printed in Hindi or English on the wrapper of the packing and this again was not practical.
“Implementation of the Act will also face interference and difficulties. The Central government’s Food Safety and Standards Act cannot be welcomed wholeheartedly and therefore small traders have started opposing it. The Centre should take note of this, reconsider the provisions and help the small traders,” he said.
The deadline for obtaining licence under this Act expires today.

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