How will FSSAI's decision to align with GST & MSME norms benefit the food business?
It is beyond any doubt that FSSAI has so far excelled in the maintenance of the high degree of integrity in food industry. Rigorously working on devising and amending various strategies to enhance the level of food security, FSSAI has always aimed at promoting and safeguarding the public health safety in India.
As a step forward towards this direction, FSSAI has recently decided to bring its norms into line with the laws of GST registration and MSME Registration. It will soon initiate the process of re-categorization of the food businesses in India on the basis of their turnover as per the criteria laid down in the GST laws.
The legendary epicures Rocky & Mayur were revelling in their food-trip when they received the update regarding FSSAI’s proposed action plan. Inquisitive about the impact of this revolutionary decision, Rocky eagerly asked-
#1. How will the food businesses now be categorised as per the new FSSAI regulations?
Mayur: Presently, the regulations of FSSAI Registration classify the small business operators in the field of hotel management with a turnover of INR 12 lakh or below as ‘petty food manufacturers’. FSSAI now proposes to raise this threshold limit for the petty food manufacturers to INR 20 lakh, which is the threshold limit for getting GST registration.
#2. What is the use of such classification?
Mayur: Generally, the regular restaurateurs are supposed to maintain the FSSAI Registration and pass the FSSAI license check from the Central or State authorities. In contrast, the food business operators classified as ‘petty food manufacturers’, are only required to get FSSAI Registration but not obtain an FSSAI license.
#3. How will that benefit the foodies like us?
Mayur: Buddy! There will be one obvious benefit of such reclassification, that the restauranteurs would require lesser compliance and freedom from the regular renewal of licenses. They would now be able to devote more on core business operation, which means we would be now served without any stoppage!
#4. What are other benefits of classification of food business as per GST laws?
Mayur: Rocky, there’s no doubt that this step would eventually help the hoteliers to make headway in achieving the optimal level of product quality and customer satisfaction.
#5. How can this recategorization help in improving quality of food-stuff?
Mayur: Presently, there’s absence of a proper and uniform record of the food businesses. The reclassification will help in creating a new track record of all foodstuff manufacturers. This will help the department issue some fresh licenses for the new products. This will help the authorities reinforce the conformity for food safety.
#6. How will the reclassification help in simplification of the regulations?
Mayur: The department is going to reschedule the norms for food businesses. The categories of ‘kind of food businesses’ (KoB) will be reduced to 8 from 17. This will bring the food manufacturers in line with the norms of MSME Registration.
#7. What other reforms will be brought into effect?
Mayur: Apart from the aforesaid measures, the FSSAI has developed a framework for the promotion of hygiene in restaurants & hotels and will soon conduct rating from a third party agency on the same. For this, training camps for self-compliance will be conducted at restaurants in all cities.
The two gastronomes were now feeling quite contented regarding the quality of the foodstuff, after knowing FSSAI’s decision.
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