DECISION ONLY TO WITHDRAW FOOD SAFETY AMENDMENT BILL
aside changes proposed by the previous government to Food Safety and
Standards Act, the government today said fresh amendments would be made
after further consultations in this matter.
A decision to withdraw the existing amendments to this Act was taken this evening by the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister NarendraModi.
The UPAgovernment had proposed amendments to the Act to expand the composition of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) and dispense with some conditions in public interest while making regulations on food.
"The Cabinet gave its approval for withdrawing the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill, 2014 as introduced in the Rajya Sabhaon 19.02.2014," an official statement said.
Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill, 2014 needs to be further
amended after taking into account the judgements of the Supreme Court,
Lucknow Bench of theAllahabadHigh Courtand representations received by the government and other recent developments, it said.
on further examination, a fresh set of amendments will be finalised by
the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare," the statement added. THE BILL INTRODUCED IN FEBRUARY-14:
THE FOOD SAFETY AND STANDARDS (AMENDMENT ) BILL, 2014
ABILL further to amend the Food Safety and
Standards Act, 2006.
BE it enacted
by Parliament in the Sixty-fifth Year of the Republic of India as follows:—
1. (1) This Act may be called the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment)
(2) It shall
come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification
in the Official Gazette, appoint.
2. In section 5 of the Food Safety and Standards
Act, 2006 (hereinafter referred to as
the principal Act), in sub-section (1),—
(i) for the
words “twenty-two members out of which one-third shall be women”, the words,
brackets and letters “twenty-three members, and out of the members referred to
in clauses (b), (c), (d), (f) and (g), one-third shall be women” shall be
clause (a), the
following clause shall be inserted, namely:—
Executive Officer of the Food Authority, Member-Secretary ex officio;”.
Short title and commencement.
Bill No. X of 2014
AS INTRODUCED IN THE RAJYA SABHA
3. After section 7 of the principal Act, the
following section shall be inserted, namely:—“7A. The Chairperson shall have
the powers of general superintendence and directions in the conduct of the
affairs of the Food Authority and shall, in addition to presiding over the
meetings of the Food Authority, exercise and discharge such other powers and
functions of the Food Authority, as may be assigned to him by the Food Authority.”.
4. In section 92 of the principal Act, in
sub-section (1), the
following proviso shall be inserted, namely:—
“Provided that the Central Government may, in the public interest,
by order in writing, dispense with the condition of previous publication in any
Insertion of new section 7A.
Powers of Chairperson.
Amendment of section 92.5.10
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
The Food Safety and Standards Act was enacted in the year 2006
with a view to consolidate the laws relating to Food in the country and to
establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down
science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture,
storage, distribution, sale and import and to ensure availability of safe and
wholesome food for human consumption.
2. Sub-section (1) of section 5 of the said Act provides for the
composition of the Food Authority consisting of a Chairperson and twenty-two
members, which does not include the Chief Executive Officer. It is proposed to
include the Chief Executive Officer in the composition of the Food Safety and
Standards Authority of India.
3. Further sub-section (1) of section 5 of the said Act provides
that one-third of the members shall be women in the composition of the said
Authority. Out of twenty-two Members of the said Authority 12 members are
nominated by the Central Ministries, Departments, the States or Union
territories. It is quite difficult to ensure appointment of 1/3rd women members
out of these 12 members. This makes it imperative to appoint 7 women members
out of remaining 10 part-time members representing food industry, consumers'
food technologists and scientists, farmers' organisations and
retailers' organisations. Therefore, it is proposed to amend sub-section (1) of
section 5 of the said Act so as to provide that the provision regarding
one-third members being women, shall be applicable to the members referred to
in clauses (b), (c), (d), (f) and (g) of sub-section (1) of section 5 of the said
4. Section 5 of the said Act empowers the Central Government to
appoint the Chairperson in such a menner so as to secure the highest standards
of competence and relevant expertise. The Chairperson is expected to not only
guide the organisation in its initial stages but also help in laying down
systems, procedures and structures to enable the said Authority to function as
per the legal mandate. The Act, however, does not specifically provide for this
essential role of guiding and overseeing the work of the said Authority, though
under section 16 of the Act, the said Authority is mandated to regulate and
monitor the manufacture, processing, distribution, sale and import of food so
as to ensure safe and wholesome food. As laid down in the preamble to the Act,
it is necessary to provide a single line of command in the Food Authority to
provide direction and accountability. Therefore, it is proposed to insert
section 7A in the said Act to address the need for continuity of policies,
Chairperson to guide the affairs of the Food Authority.
5. The section 92 empowers the said Authority to make regulations
by notification with the previous approval of the Central Government and after
previous publication. It is proposed to amend the said section so as to empower
the Central Government to dispense with the condition of previous publication
in certain cases, in the public interest.