The implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 has run into rough weather. The Act consolidates eight laws governing the food sector and establishes the Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSA) as the regulator. It requires all food business operators (including small businesses and street vendors) to obtain a licence or registration. The Regulations under FSSA related to procedure for obtaining a licence or registration was notified on August 1, 2011. According to the Regulations, all food business operators had to get a licence or registration within one year of the notification. Due to opposition from several food business operators (see here and here), the FSSA has now extended the deadline for getting a licence or registration by another six months (till February 2013). However, some of the key concerns regarding the law have not yet been addressed.
Key issues related to the Bill raised by PRS (for more details see Legislative Brief)
Other issues referred to in the media
. (a) The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954. (b) The Fruit Products Order, 1955. (c) The Meat Food Products Order, 1973. (d) The Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947. (e) The Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998. (f) The Solvent Extracted Oil, De oiled Meal, and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967. (g) The Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992. (h) Any other order issued under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, relating to food.
Discussion on the first no-confidence motion of the 17th Lok Sabha began today. No-confidence motions and confidence motions are trust votes, used to test or demonstrate the support of Lok Sabha for the government in power. Article 75(3) of the Constitution states that the government is collectively responsible to Lok Sabha. This means that the government must always enjoy the support of a majority of the members of Lok Sabha. Trust votes are used to examine this support. The government resigns if a majority of members support a no-confidence motion, or reject a confidence motion.
So far, 28 no-confidence motions (including the one being discussed today) and 11 confidence motions have been discussed. Over the years, the number of such motions has reduced. The mid-1960s and mid-1970s saw more no-confidence motions, whereas the 1990s saw more confidence motions.
Figure 1: Trust votes in Parliament
Note: *Term shorter than 5 years; **6-year term.
Source: Statistical Handbook 2021, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs; PRS.
The no-confidence motion being discussed today was moved on July 26, 2023. A motion of no-confidence is moved with the support of at least 50 members. The Speaker has the discretion to allot time for discussion of the motion. The Rules of Procedure state that the motion must be discussed within 10 days of being introduced. This year, the no-confidence motion was discussed 13 calendar days after introduction. Since the introduction of the no-confidence motion on July 26, 12 Bills have been introduced and 18 Bills have been passed by Lok Sabha. In the past, on four occasions, the discussion on no-confidence motions began seven days after their introduction. On these occasions, Bills and other important issues were debated before the discussion on the no-confidence motion began.
Figure 2: Members rise in support of the motion of no-confidence in Lok Sabha