Indian trade association calls to waive license renewals for food businesses

2 Oct 2020

As the lingering pandemic continues to upend routine business practices the world over, Indian trade association, the Federation of All India Vyapar Mandal, is requesting that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) not require license renewals for businesses this year.

Already, the FSSAI postponed renewal deadlines, which are typically in March, three times. The dates were originally bumped back to June 18 before being delayed to July 31 and then finally Dec. 31.

Indian trade association calls to waive license renewals for food businesses

The trade association’s general secretary VK Bansal called on the Indian government to waive the renewal entirely in light of the economic and public health situation in India. Part of the reason that renewals have been so difficult for businesses is the requirement that official renewal documents must be picked up physically, which has deterred businesses from participating, Food Navigator reported.

Additionally, Indians experienced a strict lockdown between March and July, which effectively curtailed commercial activities. This reality, Bansal argues, has hobbled the business community with shocking quarterly losses. He said that going forward into the next year, many companies can only expect to return to levels that are 25% to 50% above what they were during lockdown.

Bansal argued that requiring renewals from small businesses that are trying to find their bearings among decreased commercial activity can pose an unnecessary burden. The license fee structure for food and beverage manufacturers and foodservice outlets ranges from INR 3,000 ($40.10) to INR 5,000 ($66.84).

To avoid the snafu caused by the physical paper pickup requirements associated with renewing a license in the future, the FSSAI is calling on the government to digitize the application process. Food Navigator reported that the Indian government is also supportive of an online registration and renewal system being accelerated.

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