LAHORE: The Punjab government on Wednesday promulgated three more ordinances including the one amending the Food Authority law, enhancing punishments for dealing in adulterated or unhygienic food and introducing grading of eateries.

The Food Authority Amendment Ordinance, 2015 introduces strict punishments for producing and selling unhygienic food. But the punishments for the sellers of unprocessed food (street vendors) are less.

The punishment for large-scale manufacturers found dealing in substandard food is up to five-year imprisonment which will not be less than six months, and fine up to Rs2 million which will be not less than Rs500,000.


Food courts for summary trial, grading are key features


Up to six-month imprisonment which will not be less than one month and fine up to Rs1 million which will not be less than Rs100,000 is for selling substandard, ‘misbranded’ or adulterated food. The same punishment is for manufacturing and selling food which does not harm the consumer.

If it harms, the punishment is up to three-year imprisonment, which is not less than three months, and fine up to Rs1 million which will not be less than Rs100,000. And if the food kills anyone, the punishment is life imprisonment which will not be less than 10 years and fine up to Rs3 million which will not be less than Rs2 million.

The law provides for categorisation of the eateries through an objective criterion. The government will issue certificates of grading to the eateries which they will have to display at conspicuous places. Removing such certificates will be a crime and an appeal can be filed in 60 days.

It introduces special food courts for the first time in Punjab which will try cases on a summary basis.

The Special Protection Unit Ordinance provides for a public sector security agency under the Punjab police that will offer its services to foreigners working in Pakistan, mainly Chinese, and private and public parties against payment.

The Drug Acts Amendment Ordinance allows the provincial government to use powers of the federal government with regard to drug courts.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2015

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