After years of having so many acts and departments running the scene when it comes to companies that are working in the food department, the Government decided that it would make sense to bring them all together under the FSSAI.
The FSS Act is a bucket for all the older laws, rules and regulations for food safety. The FSSAI Act put together seven older acts, which are
Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
Fruit Products Order, 1955
Meat Food Products Order, 1973
Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992.
And they did the same with the merging of a lot of the departments running there. The departments that now come under the FSSAI are:
Eat Right India Movement
Regulatory Compliance Division (RCD)
Food Safety Management System (FSMS)
Division Risk Assessment and R&D division (RARD)
Information Education Communication (IEC) Division
Regulation and Codex Division
Quality Assurance/ lab Division
They implemented these rules to keep food business operators in check and protect the people working with them and the ones reaching out and interacting with the business.
Food business operators (FBO) are undertakings, whether private or public, that either start for profit or not, carrying out activities related to any stage of manufacture, processing, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution of food, imports and including food services, sale of food, or food ingredients.
Post completing an FSSAI Registration they have several roles and responsibilities toward achieving food safety within their business. If any rules are not followed, depending on the severity, they could receive a fine or punishment. Varying companies have to follow through with various versions of the Act depending on the company and several factors relating to it. Furthermore, they can now get through the process online, which should make it a lot more convenient. However, they have to inspect the establishment in person, and with various aspects of the business and rules changing across the state in India. Although the main rules stay the same, the Indian-State has some jurisdiction about the way that they conduct business.
The Government was also working on increasing the number of people registering and having their information within the Government database. Although they started the Udyog Aadhaar scheme in 2015 and had more than 48 lac registrations from small and medium companies, they were looking to get more companies to get through the process. While the system existed since the get-go, they decided that it made sense to start promoting it again. With the Coronavirus pandemic, a lot of the companies out there are shutting down, with the rest struggling to meet their targets, people are losing jobs, and they are not sure where to go. The Government is allowing them to register themselves and receive benefits so they can compete with other companies within the space. Additionally, they are hoping that the small and businesses will assist with getting the economy on track since the larger ones are not working on the process with a lot of effects.
One of the most positive aspects of the Udyog Aadhaar scheme is that it is a self-declaration that people have to provide about their own companies. They do not even have to upload supporting documents as long as the information that they are providing is accurate. When they need additional information or supporting documentation, they can ask the business to provide it. They can also use the scheme to allow companies to get through other registration and documentation processes.
The registration process, when done online takes less than ten mins if all the information about the company is already ready at hand. Here are some of the details they might need.
Personal Aadhaar number
Name of owner
Category of applicant
Name of business
Type of organisation and the key activities
National Industrial Classification code
Number of employees
Details of District Industry Centre (DIC)
Date of commencement
Some of the benefits companies can avail of through the scheme are
Access to financial support for participating in foreign expos
Access to exclusive government subsidies
Easier access to government provisions for businesses