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Action against FBOs failing to convert licences by Feb 4: Chandramouli
Thursday, 23 January, 2014, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference held at the National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management, K Chandramouli, chairman, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), said the apex food regulator would take action against food business operators (FBO) failing to convert their licences, as prescribed by the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, by February 4, 2014.

However, he said he was hopeful that the work pertaining to conversion would be completed by the prescribed date. “The deadline of February 4, 2014 is not for new licences. It is for conversions only. We expect that the conversions would be complete by the deadline. If not, we will take action. As far as new licences are concerned, it is a continual process,” he informed.

It must be mentioned here that the deadline for FBOs to obtain licences and get registered under the new set of rules is approaching, and reports suggest that the process has been sluggish in many parts of the country. While Maharashtra and Gujarat are leading, Delhi is at the bottom.

However, industry sources felt that it was highly unlikely that the conversion would be complete by the deadline. Most of them said they expected FSSAI to extend the date given the slow process of licensing and registration and the huge backlog which remained to be cleared.

When quizzed about the database for packaged drinking water, the FSSAI chairman stated that it was also a continuous process, and actually was an enforcement issue, which had to be checked constantly. Chandramouli said, “Wherever we find shortcomings, we will take action.”

When asked if there was a proposal from FSSAI regarding ban on junk food in schools, Chandramouli said that the matter had come up in the court. Only after the court’s direction would the apex regulator implement it.
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