After persistent follow-up by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the government has provided some relief to traders under the Food Safety and Standard Act.
Necessary amendment has been made in Regulation 2.1.2, Clause 1, by incorporating 36 months in proviso. This means that the date of registration has been officially extended till 3 years from the date of commencement of these regulations.
Returns in form D-1 have to be now filed by manufacturers and importers. Regulation 2.1.13 has been accordingly amended. Further, Clause 2 of return form D-1 has been amended by replacing “re-packing and re-labelling” with “importer”. This shows the government’s intention to exempt re-packers and re-labellers from filing form D-1.
CAIT national president BC Bhartia and secretary-general Praveen Khandelwal have welcomed the speedy decision of government. They said that the CAIT was in the process of getting more reliefs for the trading community.
On 30 May, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had decided to exclude traders, restaurant owners and distributors from filing annual returns.
The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) had, even before that, directed all the licenced food business operators with an annual turnover of Rs 12 lakh and above to submit their annual returns by 31 May, failing which a fine of Rs 100 a day will be levied.
Shashikant Kekare, joint commissioner (food) of FDA, Pune, said, “Hence, no fine will be imposed on traders, restaurateurs and distributors for not filing annual returns. Only food manufacturers, packers, re-packers, labellers and re-labellers will come under the purview of filing the annual returns and will face fine of Rs 100 per day for failing to do so.”