I. Heavy Weight Courier allowed to be cleared through courier terminal in Mumbai International Airport
The Commissioner of Customs at CSI airport, Mumbai had issued a public notice informing that “all the parcels weighing more than 70 kgs. and arriving in Courier mode shall be transferred to Air Cargo Complex Sahar, Mumbai instead of getting cleared through the courier terminal. RAI submitted a representation to the Finance Minister stating that goods where the weight of individual package exceeds 70 kilograms should get clearance from the courier mode itself. Please find the representation here . In response to RAI’s representation, the Commissioner of Customs, CSI Airport rolled out a Public Notice stating that members who choose to import shipments on the express mode will not be forced to clear the same from Air Cargo Complex in Mumbai and will be allowed to clear from courier terminal. Please find the public notice here.
II. Labour Registers in E-form
For the purpose of compliance, labour laws provide for the maintenance of numerous registers separately in a physical form. It becomes difficult for retailers to carry out this, given the big size of the hypermarket stores and large back-end facilities like warehouses which the retailers operate. RAI submitted to the Labour Ministry of Maharashtra proposing that these registers be consolidated into one register which can be electronically maintained in a soft copy format as this would allow the employer to comply with such provisions in an accurate and environment-friendly manner. Please find the representation here.
III. RAI’s representation on CSR to Ministry of Corporate Affairs
The new Companies Act, 2013 gives certain CSR related rules to be followed by companies which satisfy the thresholds set forth. However, a few rules such as requirement of independent director in the CSR committee of Private Limited Companies, utilization of CSR funds and CSR tax provisions require clarifications.
We had submitted a representation to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to get clarity on the CSR rules given in the new Companies Act, 2013. Please find the representation here. In response, we have received a letter from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs stating that our representation has been received and been forwarded to the appropriate officer for further examination and action. Please find the letter here.
IV. Treatment of Household Insecticides
RAI representatives met Shri Avinash K. Srivastava (Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture), Shri Utpal Kumar Singh ( Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture) and Mrs. Vandana Jain (Director-PP, Ministry of Agriculture). We presented that household insecticides are very different compared to other commercial and industrial insecticides and are not as harmful to humans unless used incorrectly and do not pose the same health threats. Hence, they should be differently treated by easing the severe punishment on non-compliance. Ministry of Agriculture officials suggested us to submit a representation giving specific examples wherein retailers were penalized with regards to the issues raised. We are in process of collecting this information and compiling it.
V. Food containers not given clearance by FSSAI
Many of the retailers’who imported food product containers have not been given clearance by FSSAI as the food containers did not have the names and addresses of the manufacturers as per import guidelines issued by FSSAI. We submitted our representations and met with FSSAI and Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) officials in this regard. They suggested that to resolve the present deadlock situation, with the proposal, RAI should submit an annexure in tabular furnishing details like categories of food under hold, bill numbers and ports where they are held. For the longer term, RAI should submit a proposal containing what the retailers should comply and what they shouldn’t, taking into account the national perspective (consumers’ interest) not just retail perspective.
VI. Workshop on Legal Metrology
RAI conducted workshops on Legal Metrology Act, 2009 on 22nd November, 2013 in New Delhi and on 10th January, 2014 in Mumbai. The workshops were addressed by Mr. B N Dixit, Director, Legal Metrology Department, Ministry of Consumer Affairs. The workshops were quite interactive and served the aim of facilitating interaction between Government and industry. After getting a good response in New Delhi and Mumbai, RAI is planning to conduct a similar workshop in Bangalore.
VII. Green retail Project
RAI along with CII and other technical partners is working on a project to incorporate sustainable best practices of store operations thereby reducing resource use. Such optimisation aims to bring down operation cost while helping the environment. The project is in the pilot stage and working with four retailers in the food and beverage sector. Currently, project partners are visiting the stores of pilot retailers and collecting data such as energy consumption, water usage and waste generation for baseline assessment. Please visit the Green Retail Project website for more details: http://switch-greenretail.in
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