FSSAI needs to streamline provisions: Harsimrat Badal

Expressing concerns over "fear" in the food processing sector following the regulatory steps taken by the FSSAI, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal Wednesday said the regulator needs to streamline its provisions and stress on innovations in the sector.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 08, 2015, 19:52 PM IST

New Delhi: Expressing concerns over "fear" in the food processing sector following the regulatory steps taken by the FSSAI, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal Wednesday said the regulator needs to streamline its provisions and stress on innovations in the sector.

"...A lot needs to be done as the FSSAI has created environment of fear in the industry. It needs to streamline its regulations as its steps are stopping innovations in the processing sector," Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an agency established under the Food Safety and Standards Act.

The growth of food processing sector is very vital as it ensures food security and better remuneration to farmers for their produce, the Minister said here.

Speaking at the conference on 'Driving Make in India in Food Processing sector' organised by the CII, Harsimrat said the government is keen and committed for growth of domestic food processing sector as well create a environment for its progress.

She also mentioned about a task force formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on her request for the growth of the sector.

The task force would analyse the various existing impediments and bottlenecks and provide expert guidance on key policy interventions to her ministry and states also, she added.

"I would even create a special committee within my ministry, with the representatives of the CII and the respective state heads in this task force as the members, in order to resolve the issues and help the food processing industry realise its desired potential," the Minister said.

The FSSAI has a mandate to look into the quality standards of food articles and regulate their manufacture, storage, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for consumption.

Last month, the FSSAI had banned Nestle's Maggi saying it was 'unsafe and hazardous' after tests found presence of lead and Monosodium glutamate above permissible limits.

Following the Maggi fiasco, FSSAI had ordered testing of noodles, pastas and macaroni brands such as Top Ramen, Foodles and Wai Wai sold and manufactured by seven companies, to check compliance with the norms.