“Further having faced a serious setback with the order of the Supreme Court quashing the illegal procedure of ’Advisories’, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is now in the process of imposing adhoc provisions by “rewording” the basic definitions of ’Food’, Proprietary Food’ and ’Nutraceutical Foods’ which are already well established under the FSS Act/Rules/Regulations and form the defining principles of the entire sector,” alleged Praveen Khandelwal, Chairman, National Joint Action Committee (NJAC).
In a statement, he pointed out that FSSAI has still not realized the importance of transparent working and is trying to introduce certain measures in Rules and Regulations to give the agency additional/arbitrary powers and also manipulate to extend its reach and command. He further observed that it will be extremely risky, unjustified and unscientific to alter these fundamental definitions and create further chaos and instability in the sector already immensely damaged by the arbitrary working of FSSAI.
Recently, Ministry of Health has issued some revised definitions on plain paper in this respect which has been viewed by experts as a grave violation of principles of probity and transparency. The sector is already suffering from the overarching practices of FSSAI.
Reacting to the developments, NJAC in a statement observed that it would be well advised that FSSAI should restrain itself from arbitrary and unscientific procedures and work transparently in participatory manner. Further, instead of trying to alter the basic definitions it should conduct technical deliberations on the Regulations already drafted on ’Nutraceutical Foods’ and ’Food Additives’ and take these forward for its efficient implementation.
The committee in a statement noted that such arbitrary practice, non-transparent and posing restriction to trade is only reflecting vindictive intent if authorities and overruling directions of Apex court as well as illegal means of gaining power which is highly unconstitutional is an alarming state in our country.
Before the authorities representing ministry take it to the new wrath, arousing conflicts leading to litigations, Praveen Khandelwal, urged PMO and Ministries to immediately arrest the situation which is creating shame and sham for India. It is absolute “Joke of India” not a mission of “Make in India”.
Sandeep Gupta, Co-Chairman, NJAC, observed that these arbitrary approach may cause serious unrest amongst the Trade, Transporters, Hoteliers and Restaurant Associations who recently convened their respective meetings after announcement of NJAC and are closely supporting the National Joint Action Committee.
NJAC, one of the biggest conglomeration and forum to cohesively work towards a common goal of the industry and to set up effectively dialogue between government and industry, has been constituted with highly experienced intellectuals and senior experts in their respective domains which includes doctors, food and fishery technologist, scientific experts, entrepreneurs and business experts, policies and regulations experts, human resource experts, leading law firms, trade leaders and experts, chartered accountants and financial experts who are leaders of their respective associations.