New Delhi: Regulator FSSAI has set up nine new panels for expediting work relating to strengthen the food regulatory mechanism in the country, the government said in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has also notified 12 referral laboratories and 82 National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited private laboratories, Minister of State of Health and Family Welfare Shripad Yesso Naik said.
In addition, there are 72 State and Public food laboratories to test food samples.
"We are also planning the increase the number of laboratories. There should be at least laboratory in each district," he said while replying to questions.
Observing that the FSSAI makes standards while their implementation is the responsibility of the state governments, Naik said in a written reply, citing information from states and UTs, that as many as 74,010 food samples were analysed in 2014-15 and 14,599 samples were found adulterated or misbranded.
On action taken against erring 'food business operators', it said 10,536 cases were launched in 2014-15 and there were 1,402 convictions. Also there were 2,795 cases involving penalties and about Rs 10.93 crore were raised.
Replying to a question on minority education, Minister of Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla said her ministry provides financial assistance through scholarship schemes for educational empowerment of minority students.
In addition, the Maulana Azad Education Foundation, an autonomous body under the ministry, also provides financial assistance through a scholarship for meritorious girl students studying in Class XI and XII from the minority communities.