Image Source : Live Mint
Aug 16, 2018
The government has sanctioned an additional 493 posts at FSSAI, so that it can do its work more effectively for ensuring safe and nutritious food to people. This step is taken as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is huge facing manpower shortage. FSSAI’s CEO Pawan Agarwal has acknowledged the government for creation of these posts, termed it as a “big milestone” in the evolution of food safety system in the country.
Currently FSSAI has 356 sanctioned posts and addition in workforce will now help to conduct food safety inspections, besides law enforcement for central licensees directly instead of being fully dependent on the states.
A large majority of the newly created posts are for technical functions, particularly at the cutting edge, that of Technical Officers (255 posts) and Assistant Director Technical (60 posts), where the staff shortage is particularly acute. In addition, 74 new posts of Central Food Safety Officers have been created.
By more than doubling the staff strength of FSSAI, the Centre has addressed one of the key concerns raised by the CAG in its performance report of FSSAI.
Increasing the manpower will enable FSSAI to handle food safety inspections and enforcement for Central licensees directly instead of entirely depending on the states.
Globally, food control systems in advanced nations have much more staff and resources. For instance, the United States has a staff of 14,200 in its two agencies, the USDA and FDA to look after food safety and Canada has over 4,000 staff in its food safety inspection services.
Comparatively FSSAI lower staff number then international benchmarks in terms of the number of staff deployed in the food regulatory bodies of other countries.