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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Centre Sets Aside Proposed Changes to Food Safety Act

NEW DELHI: The changes proposed to Food Safety and Standards Act by the previous UPA Government was set aside by the NDA Government, which said fresh amendments would be brought in after further consultations.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday.
The UPA Government had proposed amendments to the Act to expand the composition of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.“The Cabinet gave its approval for withdrawing the Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill, 2014, as introduced in the Rajya Sabha on 19.02.2014,” an official statement said.
The Food Safety and Standards (Amendment) Bill, 2014, needs to be further amended after taking into account the judgments of the Supreme Court, Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court and representations received by the government and other recent developments, it said.“Based on further examination, a fresh set of amendments will be finalised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” the statement said.
The government also decided to adopt global convention of International Maritime Organisation to help sea vessels from India undertake international shipping activities without contacting other countries.
The amendments to the Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Bill, 2013, aimed at acceding to the Anti Fouling Systems (AFS) Convention 2001 of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), were also approved by the Union Cabinet. These amendments now require the  clearance of Parliament.The approval of the amendments would enable all Indian flag sea-going vessels having 400 gross tonnage or more to engage in international shipping activities without contacting other governments, who have ratified the convention for such certificates, after getting an International Anti-Fouling System Certificate.
There are no financial implications involved, a government release said after the Cabinet meeting. “Further, India will be able to ensure that all foreign flag vessels entering Indian territorial waters or exclusive economic zone are duly certified in accordance with the requirement of the AFS Convention 2001,” it said.