New Delhi: All restaurants and hotels in the national capital will now have to mandatorily register with the Delhi government and get food safety licences within a month failing which punitive action may be initiated.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the government has decided to adopt a "zero tolerance policy" against those involved in food adulteration and will come down hard on the violators.
"It will now be mandatory for all restaurants and hotels in the national capital to register and get food safety licences within one month, through a simplified online process," said a top Delhi government official.
Newly-appointed commissioner of Food Safety Mrinalini Darswal said the Directorate of Prevention of Food Adulteration will strictly enforce provisions of the Food safety and Standards Act, 2006 which provides for up to six months imprisonment and Rs five lakh fine on those running restaurants and hotels without food safety licences.
Jain said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed all departments concerned to take strict action to deal with the problem of adulteration.
A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting between Jain and Darswal.
Darswal said Section 31 (1) the Food Safety and Standards Act clearly states that "No person shall commence or carry on any food business except under a licence."
She said all restaurants and hotels applying for food safety licences will get it through a simplified online process. Applicants can apply online and the department will process their applications and send them their licences on e-mail.
For the benefit of those in the hospitality business and also for the general public, the government will also undertake a campaign to educate people about provisions of up to six months imprisonment and Rs five lakh fine against the violators.
"The government wants to encourage trade and business in the national capital and licensing processes are being simplified but interests of consumers will also be protected," said Jain.