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FDA receives over 600 food licence applications as deadline nears

Over 600 hotel and restaurant owners have applied at the FDA office for the mandatory food licence after the recent change in rules. The application deadline is November 30. After December 31, hotel owners who have not renewed their licence or converted to the requirements of the new Food Safety Standard Authority of India Act from the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act will have their licence cancelled for three months. Only after these three months will they be able to register for a fresh licence. Before the change in rules, the PMC used to grant the food licence.

"We have received nearly 614 forms for the licence and it's mandatory for us to give the food licence within two months of accepting the forms," Assistant Commissioner of FDA Chandrakant Salunke said.
The officer added that after the verification of various documents submitted by the hotel owners, the FDA will give them the licence in two months.

"Even if they do not receive the licence in two months, they can run their businesses presuming the FDA has granted them the licence," said Salunke. With the amended Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006, now coming into force, it is mandatory for all food manufacturers, including small eateries, to register or renew their licence from the FDA.

"We have received more than Rs 48 lakh as licence fee. Hotel owners whose food manufacturing is more than two metric tonnes have to pay Rs 7,500 per year. It's Rs 5,000 for hotels whose food manufacturing is more than a metric tonne and Rs 3,000 for food manufacturing below one metric tonne," Salunke said. "All street food vendors who are having an annual turnover of less than Rs 12 lakh will have to pay Rs 100 as registration fee per year."

The FDA has reconsidered its decision to levy a fine of Rs 100 per day on those who do not renew or convert their licence within the given time. "As the norms and regulations are new, we are giving a concession to hotel owners and are not fining them even after the last date," Salunke said.

Ganesh Shetty, president of Restaurants and Hoteliers Association, said the body was helping its members with the new regulations. "We have sent 220 registration forms till date of those hotel owners who are members of our association," Shetty said.

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