Through a notification dated 20 April 2017 the Maharashtra government has permitted the sale of loose edible oil. The state government is permitted to do so under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations, 2011.
This regulation has a provision which says that “no person shall sell or expose for sell, or distribute, or offer for sale, or dispatch, or deliver to any person for the purpose of sale any edible oil
(a) which does not conforms to the standards of quality as provided in the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (34 of 2006) and rules and regulations made thereunder
(b) which is not packed in a container, marked and labelled in the manner as specified in the said Regulations.
However the regulation also permits State Government to exempt edible oil from this provision of the Act provided that it is done in public interest. The state government must record in writing through a notification in the Official Gazette the reasons about the specific circumstances for which the provision is being exempted and also specify the duration of time for the exemption.
The Maharashtra government has taken into consideration the representations of people, the cost of packaging, the financial burden on the public, the sale of oil extracted from the extraction machines in the rural areas, requirement of oil in small quantity by a large number of people in rural area, the scarcity of tin packing in the market, etc. Keeping all these in mind the Maharashtra Government has considered it expedient to grant exemption, in public interest, to all the edible oils from the provisions of the Act for a period of six months after publication in the Maharashtra Government Gazette. The government of Maharashtra has also exempted all edible oils from the provision which says “not packed in a container, marked and labelled in the manner as specified in FSSAI regulations” for a period of one year on publication in the Maharashtra Government Gazette.
The state government has taken this decision in public interest in exercise of the power conferred by Food Security and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011. Prohibition on sale of loose oil was making life troublesome for a number of people and therefore the provisions of the Act have been exempted keeping in mind public interest.