Says no relaxation of rules will be allowed; Goans’ health is more important; Request for more time to follow directions turned down
PANJIM: The State Government has ruled out allowing vehicles with fish into Goa without complying with the guidelines.
Notwithstanding to any internal and external pressure, the Directorate of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has stopped entry of vehicles carrying fish from entering the State in absence of proper documents like transportation registration, trade licence under food safety and standards since October 27, in order to rule out the fear of formalin laced with fish being imported in the State.
“No relaxation in the circular issued will be given, irrespective of the consequences of the circular. First comes, the health of the people, food safety. Any amount of representations without complying FDA guidelines would be put in a shredder and thrown in the dustbin,” Minister for health and FDA Vishwajit Rane said on Wednesday.
His statement comes an hour after Margao Wholesale Fish Market Association petitioned FDA Director Jyoti Sardesai seeking two months’ time to comply with the directions and meantime requested the import to be resumed.
The minister said the government is working for the people of Goa in a very transparent manner and without creating any kind of fear and anxiety in their mind. “We are here to serve the people of Goa. There is no question of listening to anybody’s representation or anybody’s advice when they have not even come forward to comply with FDA guidelines,” he said.
Rane said that he and his Cabinet colleague Minister for Agriculture Vijai Sardesai are very firm that international food safety measures must be taken in the state of Goa where food items are concerned. Hence there is no question of discussing any issue with anyone, it may be fish association or any association, he added.
“Unless they comply with FDA guidelines there is no looking back,” he said.
Reacting to the suggestion that FDA officer Iva Fernandes be made in-charge of the testing facility, the minister said that he is surprised to see that the man – Ibrahim Maulana who himself has not complied with the guidelines, is making suggestions to government and said that he has no right.
“This man is trying to tell me what I should do. It is my prerogative as a minister what should be done and who should be appointed where. It is our administration,” Rane said.