An amendment made in the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 has exempted the food business owners and distributors from filing annual returns. The new decision has been implemented from 10th June 2014.
The said exemption will give relief to restaurants, fast food joints, canteens, grocery stores and other businesses that deal with food.
FSSAI had given a temporary exemption to the food business owners from filing their annual returns. The amendment has now made this exemption permanent. With this amendment, only food manufacturers, labellers, packers, re-labllers and re-packers and importers will be required to file their annual return. The defaulters will be fined Rs 100 per day.
FDA had ordered all licensed food business operators, whose annual turnover is up to Rs 12 lakh and over to submit annual returns. The last date to file them was 31st May, following which, they were given interim relief.
However, it was noted that eateries, food distributors and grocery shops find it difficult to keep track of their transactions and stock; a task which is apparently much easier for manufacturers, packers, importers, re-packers, labellers etc.
As per members of Merchants Chamber in Pune, traders were facing a lot of trouble due to the new FSSA act, which was implemented in 2011. After a meeting with the then Agriculture Minister Mr. Sharad Pawar in March 2013, the regulators decided to amend the act to ensure more convenience to the parties involved.
The new act demanded annual returns from food business operators and brought all food based business under a single umbrella. The aim was to regulate the country’s food business and increase food safety.
All food business owners were asked to file their returns on annual basis through from D 1, except the milk business owner that can submit it half-year via form D 2.
The new changes to the 2006 act will come into effect on 10th June 2014.