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Inclusion of alcohol in FSS Act, 2006, no clash with Excise dept: FSSAI

Although alcoholic drinks have been included in the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006, and all the food business operators (FBOs) who sell alcoholic drinks like whisky, beer, rum, and vodka have to apply for licensing and registration, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has denied the possibility of any clash of interest with State Excise Departments.

A number of associations and organisations have made representations against licensing and registration for the business of alcoholic drinks. There has been apprehension that due to alcoholic drinks being included in the FSS Act, 2006, there is duplication of work with the Excise departments of states.

The matter has been examined and it has been clarified that the FSSAI will regulate with the framing of the standards of alcoholic drinks and issues concerned with the safety aspects of alcoholic drinks only from production to sale.

S N Mohanty, former CEO, FSSAI, said, “There will be no clash of interest between Excise department and FSSAI, because our work will be to issue licences to and register the FBOs which deal with the business of standard alcoholic drinks and wines. All FBOs may need to apply for licences and registration to the authorities at the Centre or state/Union Territory as per their capacity turnover.”

He added, “The other issues like revenue, trade, etc. will be dealt by the Excise departments of states and Union Territories. So there is clear-cut demarcation of the activities and no conflict in jurisdiction.”

Ganesh Naik, state excise minister, Maharashtra said, “We will be working in collaboration with FSSAI and the reason there will be no conflict in working of both authority.”

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