Food safety bill withdrawn from RS for further amendments

The government on Tuesday withdrew from the Rajya Sabha a bill related to food safety and standards which it wants to amend further taking into account recent court judgments.

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday withdrew from the Rajya Sabha a bill related to food safety and standards which it wants to amend further taking into account recent court judgments.

The Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was withdrawn by Minister of State for Health Shripad Yasso Naik.

The previous UPA government had proposed amendments to the Act to expand the composition of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and dispense with certain conditions in public interest while making regulations on food.

The bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha on February 19, this year.

However, the move to withdraw the bill was objected by P Rajeeve (CPI-M), who said it was under consideration of a Standing Committee.

"On the basis of this statement, the House has no legislative competence," Rajeeve said, referring to papers apparently provided to him by the government.

PJ Kurien, who was in the Chair, said the objection is "pertinent" and if the bill is with the Committee, the House cannot withdraw it.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi then told the House that a report had been received from the Committee.

Following Naqvi's intervention, Kurien said that it is very clear that a report had come from the Committee and it is on record with the Minister also having said so.

The motion was then adopted and the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill 2014 withdrawn.

An official statement released last month said the bill needs to be further amended after taking into account judgements of the Supreme Court, Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court, and representations received by the government and other recent developments.  

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