New FSSAI regulations for product approvals soon

New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will come out with new regulations on product approvals in a few months, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

“FSSAI is in the process of having the right kind of regulations to set the house in order,” said Ranglal Jamuda, secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), at an Assocham event here.

“In another couple of months, whatever difficulty we have in getting product approvals or diversifying products or coming out with new products to fulfil demand in the market, possibly that kind of situation will substantially change,” he added.

“All the operational difficulties that have upset us for the last couple of months will be taking a good shape,” he said.

FSSAI, the apex food regulator, scrapped product approvals following a Supreme Court order on August 19 which questioned the procedure being followed for approvals.

Jamuda urged the industry to mobilise existing and prospective entrepreneurs to apply in large numbers to avail services from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard).

The bank has set up a Rs.2,000 crore fund for lending to processing industries in mega food parks and designated food parks.

“So far seven applications have been sanctioned worth the total amount of Rs.255 crore. If we do not utilise this fund by the end of this financial year, it would be very difficult to ask the finance ministry to extend this facility in coming years,” Jamuda said.

He also suggested the Nabard should delegate more powers to its regional offices so that things could move much faster in this regard.

Highlighting that this fund support was available only for designated food parks, the secretary said: “As of today we have notified about 146 designated food parks, including mega food parks across the country and five out these have become operational and another three are likely to become operational in the next couple of months.”

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