Government to define portion sizes of food served in hotels and restaurantshe Narendra Modi regime seems determined to make the lives of entrepreneurs miserable, notwithstanding its commitment to improve the ease of doing business in India. The proposal to define portion sizes of food served in hotels and restaurants is yet another absurdity that exposes the government’s control mentality.
The Prime Minister’s comments against food wastage in his Mann Ki Baat talk on 9 April seem to have inspired Paswan.
In a bid to prevent wastage of food, the government wants to define portion sizes of food served in hotels and restaurants. Consumer Affairs & Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told the media, “If a person can eat only two prawns, why should he or she be served six? If a person eats two idlis, why serve four! It’s wastage of food and also money people pay for something that they don’t eat.”he Prime Minister’s comments against food wastage in his Mann Ki Baat talk on 9 April seem to have inspired Paswan. His Ministry intends to interact with the representatives of the food industry, but it is unlikely that their imploring and pleadings would have any impact on the control freaks who preponderate in the government. Not for them the problems of industry; what they love is cheap publicity that such sanctimonious concern for the consumer brings to them.
Some time ago, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was toying with the idea of forcing seeking restaurants to disclose the nutritive and calorific value of the food they serve.
The proposed move is preposterous on several counts. First, it presupposes the idiocy of consumers. In a country where people are extremely price conscious (Remember the kitna deti hai ad? The guy goes to buy a yacht, but can’t get over the idea of mileage) it is downright idiotic to assume that people are careless about the money they spend on food.
Second, it assumes that the cleverness of eatery owners is matched by the dimwittedness of diners: the former fool the latter by offering food in quantities greater than their requirement, resulting in waste. It doesn’t happen that way; and even if it does sometimes, the customer would avoid the restaurant the next time.
Third, how would Paswan’s Ministry ensure the implementation? Another set of inspectors? Doesn’t the Indian industry already suffer from the inspector Raj, to obliterate which every government claims to be committed to?
It looks like politicians have found a new vehicle to peddle their sick populism—the hospitality sector. The municipal corporation in south Delhi has made it compulsory for restaurants and hotels to let anybody use their washrooms by paying Rs 5 (Why Swachh Bharat stinks (http://www.thehinduchronicle.com/2017/03/swachh-bharat-stinks/). Like any bad idea, this may soon catch up with the local authorities in other parts of the country.ome time ago, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was toying with the idea of forcing seeking restaurants to disclose the nutritive and calorific value of the food they serve. Its implementation would also entail an army of inspectors, which means more bother and cost for eateries.
The fact that neither Modi nor the all-powerful Prime Minister’s Office has opposed Paswan’s idea suggests that the Prime Minister is not against the idea of portion sizes. If that is correct, it is not a happy situation. You can’t have inspectors breathing down restaurateurs’ (and other businessmen’s) neck and expect to improve the business climate in the country.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
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