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FDCA to strengthen online regulatory system to up food safety in Gujarat

24,September, 2015
In a move to strengthen the overall regulatory system in the state, the Gujarat FDCA (Food and Drugs Control Administration) is soon planning to adopt and implement its renowned IT software and online application system namely the XLN software across its food division, to ensure food safety measures in line with that of drugs. With this move, the state regulators aim to have a more systematic approach towards regulating and controlling over 2 lakh registered food business operators (FBOs) across the state under the Food Safety & Standards Regulations, 2011

It is understood that Gujarat FDCA is already in the last leg of finalising the project, which is expected to go on floors soon, with an investment of Rs 40 lakh for hardware and software development along with skill appraisals and training of food officials for the same. If things go as planned, the regulators hope to see the online food monitoring and licensing system to begin its operation successfully within a year’s time.

Interestingly, unlike NIC (National Informatics Centre), which usually undertakes online or IT application projects for the government agencies, this time the Gujarat Informatics Ltd (GIL) will be doing this project for the state regulators. Dr Hemant G Koshia, commissioner, FDCA, Gujarat, stressed that since NIC was overloaded with additional work from across the country with a surge in e-governance initiatives undertaken nationwide, they decided to get the assistance of GIL.

“Our main purpose is to implement and start the operations of this system at the earliest, so that we can improvise and boost the standard of our food safety initiatives. Like our previous endeavours targeted in safeguarding the health of the citizens through IT intervention and e-governance initiative for the drug safety, we are more than excited to adopt the same for food as well. This is sure to bring in easy and efficient dissemination of all the vital information in time, upgrading our regulatory capacity while bringing in better transparency in our work culture. Most importantly it is targeted to achieve the best consumer safety measure, as health of our citizens is our prior concern,” he added.

Right now all the regulatory and monitoring functions of food related activities are conducted through taluka, corporations and district level offices. Once the IT application or software is linked through it will aid in faster delivery of services with easy access to test results for regulatory purpose and less bureaucratic hurdles for the stakeholders.

Currently out of the 2 lakh registered FBOs, nearly 50,000 are registered as manufacturers whereas the rest of the 1.5 lakh FBOs are registered as wholesalers, retailers or hawkers. It is important to note that Gujarat is a major hub for spices and condiments as well as food processing units, especially with it being one of the major producers and exporters of potatoes and mangoes from the country. In fact, Dr Koshia informed that Gujarat had the country’s largest number of food processing units especially once dedicated to potato chips or fingers, which are manufactured and distributed globally for consumption.

With this project underway, the Gujarat FDCA becomes yet again the first state regulator to conceptualise and implement such a well-planned and structured e-governance initiative in the country for food safety.

Categories: NEWS
    24,September, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    WE are listening this last 5 years. Give concrete example what had been done

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