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Reconsider certain provisions of Food Act: DMK Chief

Posted on Feb 05, 03:31PM | UNI

Chennai, Feb 4 : DMK president M Karunanidhi, whose party is a key ally of the Congress-led UPA at the Centre, today urged it to reconsider certain provisions in the Food Safety Act as it would affect small traders.

In a statement here, he said though the intentions of the Act, which has come into force after being ratified by Parliament, was lofty, certain provisions were not practically possible as it would affect the small traders.

Claiming that the Food Safety and Standards Act had contained several provisions that would harm the interests of small traders and consumers, he said making the specifications of the items in the pack either in English and Hindi mandatory, was practically not possible.

Noting that consumers, especially the poor, were at present purchasing unpacked items, he said the Act makes packing of all commodities mandatory before selling.

"If the packing is made mandatory, small and retail traders will face several difficulties and would result in consumers end up paying more", he noted.

"The Act cannot be wholeheartedly accepted as there are chances of interferences of officials as licences have to be compulsorily obtained by manufacturers and even street vendors", he said, adding, the hefty fine imposed under the Act, including jail terms, were not acceptable.

Pointing out the opposition from small traders, the DMK Chief urged the Centre to take this into consideration and implement effective steps to assist the small traders.