Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The trade body, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Monday informed that it has written a letter to the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya, raising concerns about the FSSAI’s draft regulation on the front-of-the-pack nutritional labelling (FOPNL), reported Press Trust of India (PTI).
CAIT said that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) draft regulation on FOPNL will affect small sweet and namkeen manufacturers.
The government body for food safety, FSSAI issued these regulations in September for FOPNL for packaged food companies. The draft regulations were proposed to introduce the concept of five star ratings to provide information about the nutritional value of the products to consumers. After introducing these regulations, FSSAI has sought comments from stakeholders on the same.
“This move undoubtedly looks to be logical which has been brought with a good intention to ensure quality and nutrified food to the people of India. However, the proposed rules have not taken into account the ground reality of the food trade and various parameters of spending of the consumers,” CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said in the letter sent to the minister.
The trade body has sought attention on the notification for the printing of Indian Nutrition Rating (INR) on food packets as part of a labelling exercise which will give higher rating to healthy food items based on a set of standards.
Khandelwal said that these guidelines are an attempt to run the food trade with one stick in a diverse nation like India. He further noted that crores of small halwai, food operators, sweet and namkeen makers and others cater to the requirement of about 80 per cent of the country’s population.
“Any legislation or regulation which may be drafted to regulate them with one yardstick will end with closure of these large number of small sweet and namkeen manufacturers traditionally known as halwai and bakers, which will further result into unemployment of a large number of workers who work with these small halwai and sweet namkeen manufacturers,” he said.
Other than CAIT, Indian Sellers Collective, an umbrella body of trade associations and sellers has also opposed the FSSAI’s draft regulation on the FOPNL stressing that it will severely affect the MSME packaged food industry.