Paswan’s idea spells hard cheese for restaurateurs

Paswan's Ministry to interact with Food industry on portion of food being served in Hotels

Paswan inspired by PM's speech on Food Wastage
Paswan inspired by PM's speech on Food Wastage

Government to define portion sizes of food served in hotels and restaurants

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he 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.”

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]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?

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]F[/dropcap]ourth, it implemented, the move will be a cost to restaurateurs who would, in turn, pass it on to their customers. “Although the thought behind this concept is noble and we appreciate it, but to implement this idea is highly impractical,” Dilip Datwani, president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association Western India, told Mint newspaper. “If the suggested move does come into effect, the pricing would most certainly be affected, making eating out more expensive for the consumer.” Is it what the Minister in-charge of consumer affairs wants?


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.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]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.


Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Ravi Shanker Kapoor

Ravi Shanker Kapoor

Ravi Shanker Kapoor is a journalist and author. He upholds freedom of expression, individual liberty, free market, and open society. He has published three books till date. His website is http://www.thehinduchronicle.com/.
Ravi Shanker Kapoor

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1 COMMENT

  1. This is what he actually said, as per another blog,”Where are we saying that you should keep only so much quantity in one portion, we are only saying you should mention the quantity being served in each portion.” Would you like to cross- check?

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