The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the apex body of the trading community, has declared to launch a nationwide agitation against the Food Safety and Standards Act, if it is not deferred immediately by the Union government. Traders said that the provision of punishing those without a licence was unfair and harsh.

The last date to purchase a licence is today. According to the act, those without a licence will attract a fine of Rs 5 lakh and imprisonment of six months. The Act is applicable not only to traders but also to the common
man, who may be serving food for non-profit motives such as at religious places or for charity or other social meetings.

Even enterprises involved in processing, packing, storage, distribution, imports or transportation will be liable to comply to the provisions of the Act. CAIT has demanded that the government form a committee of trade leaders and officials, so that their suggestions can be heard and necessary changes can be made in the Act.