Saturday, 7 October 2017

Indian food safety watchdog FSSAI itself needs inspection

FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) is a watchdog for implementing food safety in India. This post is regarding their business of collecting money in the name of registration fee and license fee from all the food vendors throughout the length and breadth of the country. What it does faithfully is collecting 100 Rs per year registration from all the food vendors below 12 lakh turnover and Rs.2000 license per year from above 12 lakh turnover.

Look at the pricing structure wherein License/Certificate Modification is charged the same price as the new application itself! Corrupt food inspectors ensure there is 100 percent compliance.

In my case a 72-year-old gentleman from Durgapur came to my Burdwan office asking to help in FSSAI licensing. He in turn brought the documents from a sweet shop. Both of them understand little about online application which is now mandatory by FSSAI. After paying 2000 Rs license fee for one year, the gentleman discovered that he had submitted me a wrong name for the sweet shop. With no way to edit the name once submitted, I requested assistance from their help desk after finding their toll free no. dead. The ticket raised dated 21 September, 2017 is still open (

There is a sense of terror as their online procedure is not understood by the masses and look at the state of their customer service with tollfree no. and online helpdesk non responsive. Remember, this government came to power on the promise of removing corruption and enforcing accountability on its bureaucratic workforce that draws disproportionately higher salary than their private counterparts. In a typical offline FSSAI office where after filling the online application one needs to submit physically attached documents, one will find a clerk who is sitting there to find fault and threaten to complete the online application from a nearby internet cafe from where he/she going to receive a referral commission.