Food Businesses to get FSSAI License within 1 Hour
Till date, the apex food safety authority Food Safety & Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has not only played the role of a regulator but has also been a supportive facilitator of the entire food industry in India. Apart from regularly checking the regulatory compliance as regards FSSAI registration and FSSAI license, the Food safety watchdog has also sought to ensure that the process of compliance goes on smoothly, with no hassles for the food businesses.
With a view to enhancing ease of doing business among the food businesses, FSSAI is now preparing a mechanism wherein the FSSAI licence would be given to the food business operators (FBOs) within 1 hour of submission of the application for FSSAI registration.
This rapid mechanism is being worked on along the lines of the Union government’s recent scheme to provide easy loans up to ₹ 1 crores to the MSMEs within 59 minutes.
#1. What is the objective behind this decision?
This is indeed a path-breaking decision that was taken after the issue was discussed at the Central Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting held on 14th December 2018. The sole aim behind this decision is to enhance the ease of doing business.
A senior FSSAI official has informed that the time taken for processing the FSSAI licence will now be reduced to just 1 hour, in a bid to align with the government’s key drive of enhancing the ease of doing business.
#2. How much time does it normally take for FSSAI registration?
- As of now, it generally takes around 15 days to generate the FSSAI licence for which the FBOs have filed their applications, subject to complete submission of the relevant documents along with the FSSAI registration application.
- In case of FSSAI state license, it may take about 60 days.
- This may take extend further, in case of incomplete documentation or any procedural holdup from the government’s end.
#3. How is it possible to grant FSSAI licence in just 1 hour?
The FSSAI official has explained how FSSAI registration can be done in a fast-track mechanism. He has said that since the FSSAI registration process doesn’t need any pre-inspection at all by the FSSAI authority, the issuance of FSSAI licence should not be that time-consuming, as far as the documentation is complete. The officer has told in this regard-
“Food Licensing does not require a prior inspection from the authority. So, if the documentation is completed from the applicant, his FSSAI licence can be generated there and then. It won’t take much time, the only thing to be ensured is complete documentation.”
#4. Where will the fast-track FSSAI registration begin in India?
The food safety regulator has already prepared a plan for the pilot project of this fast-track FSSAI registration mechanism. Over a period of time, this process will be first implemented in some 10 districts of the nation. These 10 districts include-
- Nagpur, Sangli and Dhule from Maharashtra,
- North Goa district from Goa,
- Visakhapatnam and East Godavari from Andhra Pradesh,
- Idukki from Kerala,
- Somnath from Gujarat,
- Pradeep (Jagatsinghpur district) from Odisha and
- Kangra from Himachal Pradesh.
#5. How will this fast-track FSSAI registration be implemented?
The CAC has told that the states & UTs have been requested to act in this direction and conduct special camps. In these camps, the FSSAI license and FSSAI registration will be awarded in the said time frame (1 hour).
Apart from that, states & UTs may appoint designated officers and registration authorities to recognise the area to conduct these FSSAI registration camps, so that the maximum benefit from these camps can be attained.
#6. What about the regulatory compliance in the above 10 districts?
The food safety regulator is also keen on ensuring proper compliance within the 10 districts where this fast-track FSSAI registration mechanism is to begin.
- In the meanwhile, FSSAI is soon to conduct a special drive in all these districts to check the compliance level with proper fulfilment of FSSAI license and FSSAI registration rules.
- In this regard, even the CAC is of the view that it is very crucial to have special drives throughout the country so as to bring discipline among the FBOs.
- Furthermore, FSSAI had already made a request to various states and Union Territories of India in July 2018 for conducting an enforcement drive against non-licensed FBOs.
- Likewise, FSSAI has repeatedly asked states to carry out the surveys of FBOs not having FSSAI licence or FSSAI registration.
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