Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has opposed the Government decision to bring `alcoholic drinks' as part of food describing it as unfair since it will help the Union Government to further regulate alcohol manufacturers under the Food Safety & Standard Act, 2006. In a representation to Ministry of Food Processing & Industry, Assocham regretted that despite recommendations made by the industry that alcoholic drinks should not be part of the definition of food since it was mandatory to level them as `Injurious to health', its suggestions had gone unheeded.

Assocham sought review of this decision arguing that the alcoholic drinks manufacturers would be heavily regulated and manufacturing, processing, distribution and sale would be adversely affected.

The decision was against the spirit of the Constitution as the liquor industry was regulated by the State and the Centre, the representation said. The representation pointed out that intoxicating liquors were specially covered by Entry 8 of the State list and this placed all aspects such as manufacture, possession, transport, purchase and sale of intoxicating liquor within the State's sphere.

Assocham said States had the exclusive power to grant licences for manufacture of beer, wine and similar intoxicating liquor under Entry 8 of States List.