Current AffairsPolitics

Goa government to crack down on foreigner’s run food outlets in coastal belt

Panaji, December 4th (GCCurrentAffairs): While accusing the foreigners having their food business in the coastal state of paddling drugs, Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Tuesday warned strong action against them through Food and Drugs Administration Department.

Rane told reporters that team of FDA officials has been formed who is given adequate police protection to crack down on these food outlets run by the foreigners, which double up as drug dens.

He said that none of the foreigner without FDA licence, running his business in Goa, would be spared, and their premises would be sealed, forever.

The minister said that FDA which has been accused of having “not enough teeth” to act against the violators, will now step up its action. He said that the teams of FDA would span across North and South Districts of the State, especially in the coastal belt to crack down on the businesses run by foreigners.

“The police protection would be provided to the FDA teams as during the raids, the foreigners turn aggressive. We want to avoid such kind of situations and hence the team led by a Police Sub Inspector would be accompanying the FDA officials,” the minister said.

 “Several foreigners are into food business in Goa. I have got to know that these outlets are doubling up as drug selling points. They have become drug paradises,” he commented during a press conference.

The minister said that besides a crack down on foreigners, FDA will continue its checking across all the segment of food industry, whether it is a five star hotel or a regular beach shack.

“FDA is going to ensure that hygiene and good safety standards are maintained. Nobody can take us for a ride,” he said.

The teams will also inspect the night clubs operating in the beach belts. “The checking will also be done in the night clubs to ensure that the food that is served there is of proper standard,” he said.

Referring to the recent issue of ban on import of fish in Goa, Rane said that the FDA might relax the ban on the small-time fishermen who are operating within 60 kms of Goa border.

“We have to go ahead of lifting the ban on these fishermen only after putting all the quality checks in place. The person who is catching fish with canoes within 60 kms of Goa might be given a relief,” he said.

“We are working on the mechanism for the relaxation. We don’t want traders to take advantage of the relaxation and illegally bring in fish,” the minister stated.

Rane also said that the state government is working to ensure that the quality testing modalities are in place at the earliest.

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