Nepal | July 06, 2020

Replacement of five-decade-old food act facing delays

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, June 26

The draft of Food Safety and Standards Act 2018 has been stuck at the Ministry of Law for the last four months.

Aiming to replace the existing five-decade-old food act, the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DoFTQC) had prepared the draft and submitted to the ministry four months ago to finalise it. Currently, the DoFTQC is following the Food Act endorsed in 1967.

“In the four months since we submitted the draft of the new food act, the law ministry has called us just once for discussion,” said Matina Joshi Vaidya, acting director general of DoFTQC.

“However, after that, we have not received any new update from the ministry,” she added. She further said that as laws cannot be prepared overnight, in-depth discussions and critical analysis are necessary.

“The ministry is doing internal works, so hopefully the draft will be finalised soon,” she said. “Thereafter, it will be submitted at the Parliament for enactment.”

This basically means that it might be a few months before the new act comes into force, she added.

In lack of contextual laws, the country’s food safety has been affected.

Every year, the DoFTQC receives a number of complaints from consumers against traders selling substandard food in the market. As per the data compiled by the DoFTQC, a total of 136 complaints against individuals or groups were registered at the DoFTQC in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. The number has already surpassed the total 135 complaints received in the last fiscal year.

The DoFTQC also admits that in lack of strict rules, the wrongdoers are not really being deterred from engaging in such unethical practices. Thus, to secure the public’s right to safe food, the new food act is necessary, Joshi said.

As per the DoFTQC, the draft of new food act has proposed that anybody who produces or sells sub-standard food will be punished with five years’ imprisonment and a fine ranging from Rs 400,000 to Rs 600,000.

Similarly, if anybody dies after consuming such sub-standard food, then the producer or seller will be punished with a fine of at least Rs one million and imprisonment of five years.

Likewise, if a consumer suffers irreparable bodily damage due to a food product, then the seller or producer will have to pay up to Rs 500,000 as compensation to the victim along with treatment expenses till the person recovers completely.

If any inedible chemical or bacteria is found in the food, the producer and seller will be imprisoned for six months to one year and charged a fine of Rs 200,000.


A version of this article appears in print on June 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Greenwood shines as five-star Man United crush Bournemouth

MANCHESTER: Manchester United's three-pronged attack combined to devastating effect as they crushed Bournemouth 5-2 in the Premier League on Saturday to move into the top four and stretch their unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions. Mason Greenwood shone with two superb goals whil Read More...

Six killed, one missing in Bajhang landslide

Bajura, July 4 Six persons died in a landslide in Mallesi of Kedarsyun Rural Municipality, Bajhang, last night. One person is missing. A police team from Bisauna of Durgathali Rural Municipality and locals retrieved the bodies from the landslide debris today. According to Kedarsyun Rural Mu Read More...

NCP standoff continues

Kathmandu, July 4 The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) postponed its Standing Committee meeting till Monday in an attempt to reconcile differences among party co-chairs Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal. The rival faction of the NCP has Read More...

Bayern thrash Leverkusen 4-2 to win 20th German Cup title

BERLIN: Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich kept their hopes of a treble alive after a dominant 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen to lift the German Cup for a record-extending 20th time at the Olympiastadion on Saturday. Bayern sealed their 13th domestic double as Hansi Flick, who took ove Read More...

Fertiliser crunch hits farmers in Siraha district

SIRAHA, JULY 4 Farmers, who have started paddy plantation, are facing shortage of chemical fertiliser in Siraha. Agriculture cooperatives are supposed to sell fertiliser supplied by the Agriculture Materials Company Limited and Salt Trading Corporations. But, farmers are facing paucity of fert Read More...

Govt turns deaf ears to demands of youths staging hunger strike

KATHMANDU, JULY 4 Two youths of ‘Enough Is Enough’ movement have been staging a fast-unto-death hunger strike for the past nine days, but the government has turned a deaf ears to their demands. Iih, 26, of Kathmandu and Pukar Bam, 30, of Kailali, who began their hunger strike from a Sattal Read More...

Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) building

Engineer booked for accumulating illegal assets

KATHMANDU, JULY 4 The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority yesterday filed a charge-sheet at the Special Court against Bharat Raj Acharya, an engineer at the Department of Roads. He has been charged with accumulating disproportionate assets worth around Rs 32.2 million. Ac Read More...

More public post holders submitting property details

Kathmandu, July 4 The number government officials and employees furnishing their property details has increased in the fiscal 2018-19 compared to the previous fiscal, said National Vigilance Centre. According to a report released by the anti-corruption watchdog under the Office of the Prime Mi Read More...