CAIT demands immediate withdrawal of FSSAI rules on food products with saturated fat
New Delhi, Sept 21 (KNN) Nearly, 2 crore shopkeepers across the country will lose more than 75 per cent of their business amounting to about 15 lakh crore per year because of a recent notification of the central government.
According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) notification which was issued on September 4, the food products high in saturated fat or trans-fat or added sugar or sodium will not be allowed for sale within fifty meters from the school campus in any direction.
In this regard, the CAIT on Sunday had sent a letter to Union Health Minister Harshvardhan and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal demanding the withdrawal of FSSAI rules and regulations.
While opposing the regulation, the CAIT said ''These traders who are already suffering from a huge setback due to Covid-19 pandemic have been forced to face this economic pandemic.''
CAIT National President BC Bhartia & Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that it would affect about 2 crore small shops/vendors across the country which includes mostly neighbourhood shops like General Stores, Pan Shops, Kirana shops, and other tiny shops which keep all kind of FMCG items to meet the need of neighbourhood consumers.
''It would include food and beverages, other groceries, personal and home care items. To fulfil customer’s needs, a complete mix of a shopping basket is critical to stay relevant and viable. The demography of every city in the country is such that there will be no space where shops do not exist within 50 meters in any direction of any kind of school. As per the rules nobody will be allowed to sell any product that contains sugar, salt, or aerated water,'' they added.
Bhartia and Khandelwal said that these neighbourhood shops were instrumental in playing the most crucial role during the lockdown in providing daily needs requirements of the people. Not allowing these shops to keep the food and beverage products is bound to impact the sale of other items and losing the customer base.
More importantly, it will reduce the footfall if shopkeepers are not able to provide a full range of products. Such a regulation dampens the very spirit of Ease of Doing Business specifically for the hardworking entrepreneurial class of small business owners and traders.
They further said that this restriction will deprive that consumer base who make purchases for their daily needs. The CAIT has demanded the government to withdraw this non- practical rules and regulations which infringes the fundamental right of a person to conduct business activities of his choice.
''The government due to prevailing circumstances, is not able to provide employment whereas the FSSAI is adamant to deprive people from their existing businesses,'' CAIT said.
Bhartia & Khandelwal said that other operational challenges: In cities and big towns, both businesses and such educational institutions have come up and co-existed for a long time. A large part of these cities and towns will be a ‘no sale region’ if 50-metre restriction is implemented