The Indian direct selling industry, of which about 60 per cent deals in food, issued the Direct Selling Guidelines 2016. It also voiced concerns, to which the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is trying to find sustainable solutions.
The latter was stated by Pawan Kumar Agarwal, the apex regulator’s chief executive officer, at a function held to celebrate the Indian Direct Selling Association’s (IDSA) completion of two decades. He was the guest of honour at the event.
Appreciating IDSA’s efforts in playing the role of a facilitator between the industry and the government, Agarwal said the new standards for food supplements were in the final stage of notification and would be notified post-government approval.
“It is FSSAI’s responsibility to ensure that safe and nutritious food is supplied to 130 crore people of the country, and we do require the support and cooperation of each member of this industry,” saidAgarwal.
“We have been in talks with IDSA to effectively use the reach of 40 lakh distributors of IDSA member companies towards spreading food awareness, which is an elementary requirement,” he added.
Jitendra Jagota, chairman, IDSA, said, “The direct selling industry has huge potential to reach Rs15,000 crore by 2019-20. We are aiming at providing business opportunities to about 90 lakh people by then. While women remain the stronghold of the industry, our focus would also be to provide business opportunities to more men in the country.”
Amit Chadha, secretary general, IDSA, said, “The direct selling industry is perfectly aligned to this vision of India’s prime ministerNarendra Modi, as it is contributing to this goal in a big way by significantly enhancing the skills, especially of women, and by promoting the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector.”
Vivek Katoch, vice-chairman, IDSA, said,“We had submitted our recommendations towards the requisite clarifications required on certain clauses in the guidelines. The Department of Consumer Affairs, after taking a note of our recommendations,brought out a note on clarifications on the said clauses. This will not only be more helpful for the consumer, but will also strengthen the position of legitimate direct selling companies.”