Commissioner assures action: Food Safety Analyst demands ‘bribe’ from budding Kashmiri entrepreneur to clear his product even after the nod from FSSAI
Jammu: A young entrepreneur from Kashmir Valley has accused Jammu based Food Safety Laboratory of maligning his brand and image. The entrepreneur alleged that Food Safety Laboratory of Jammu demands bribe from to clear his brand though the Kolkatta and Kashmir based food safety laboratories have already cleared the name of his brand.
At a time when unemployment menace has engulfed the State, Faizan Muhammad from Hyderpora who has earned a Management Degree from AMITY University started his business venture of Iodized Salt by his own Brand namely (Samzan Salt) in 2017.
“I am completely disappointed the way a Food Analyst from Jammu Laboratory demanded bribe from me,” Faizan told news agency CNS.
While divulging information about his venture, Faizan Muhammad said that recently, he launched ‘Double Fortified Salt’ (Iron+Iodine) which was selected for a Government tender for supply to the ICDS Department Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Salt samples were tested in Food Safety Laboratory in Kashmir Province and also Jammu Province under same batch and lot. While Kashmir Province Laboratory conformed to the standards prescribed for iron and iodine under regulation of (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) FSSAI, however, to my shock, same was tested by the Food Safety Laboratory Jammu and did not pass the product and declared the sample report as substandard and mis-branded for the reasons better known to them,” he said.
“After the negative report from Jammu Laboratory, my product was forwarded to FSSAI referral Lab Kolkata, West Bengal and product was declared as a standard one after passing all tests. The positive report that I received from FSSAI Kolkatta exposed the the sinister motive of Jammu Laboratory. When I raised the issue with Jammu based Food Analyst, he was will to clear my product provided i grease his palm. He demanded Rs 5 lakh bribe.”
The budding entrepreneur added that it is a norm in Jammu based Food Safety Laboratory to harass entrepreneurs so that bribe can be extorted from them. “It is crystal clear that Food Safety Laboratory of Jammu Province deliberately provided negative report of the sample of my Salt vide Batch Number 10. It’s not only the question of rampant malpractices but Jammu Food Safety Laboratory is playing with the lives of common people. There are ample chances that this laboratory may pass adultered products as well for money,” he added.
Faizan said that he also filed an application under Right to Information Act seeking details from Jammu based Food Safety Laboratory about all tested products from couple of years.
I request Governor Administration, Divisional Commissioner Jammu and Anti-Corruption Bureau to look into the matter so that corrupt elements can be taken to task.
Commissioner, Food Safety Department, Dr Kabir Dar confirmed that the entrepreneur has complained about corruption. Dar said he has already constituted an inquiry committee and waiting for the report. “We will initiate action once the report will be submitted,” Dar claimed. However, the entrepreneur has refuted the claim of the Commissioner Food Safety saying that report has already been submitted and no action is being initiated against the corrupt elements.