Your Guide to FSSAI Registration

The Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The FSSAI is responsible for advocating and protecting public health by ensuring implementation of food safety standards on a state level.

FSSAI works with the aim to:

  • lay down the standard norms for food articles based on scientific facts
  • maintain and standardise the manufacturing processes, storage, distribution, import of food as per the framework of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006
  • ensure that the food distributed to the masses is safe and qualitative, and all eateries are certified by FSSAI

FSSAI Registration of Food Establishments

All food establishments must follow FSSAI standards in order to obtain FSSAI license, that is a proof and permission of being a legal distributor of cooked or processed foods sold commercially. In order to acquire the license, any food and culinary setup must apply for FSSAI registration.

Steps for FSSAI Registration

Step 1: Visit the FSSAI website – http://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in. Check your eligibility criteria based on your business turnover.

If your turnover is:

  • up to 12 lakh – you are eligible for a basic license
  • up to 20 crore – you are eligible for a state license
  • over 20 crores – you are eligible for a central license

Step 2: Once you have identified which license you are eligible for, create an account by filling the required information along with a valid phone number and email address.

Step 3: You will receive an SMS or Email confirmation once your account has been created. Log in to start the registration process by clicking here: https://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in/index.aspx.

Please note:

  • Your account will be valid for 30 days only, post which it will be automatically deactivated. You must register for the FSSAI license within 30 days of account creation.
  • Complete the registration in one go. If left incomplete, you will be required to start the process all over again.

Step 4: Save the form and take its print. Then, submit.

Step 5: Once submitted, you will receive a reference number. Save it, as it will come handy while tracking the progress of your FSSAI license registration.

Step 6: Submit the printed application form to the regional or state authority along with all the supportive documents within 15 days from the day of online submission.

Benefits of FSSAI Registration

  • Increased consumer trust: Customers have become more alert about the quality of food they consume and aware about their food choices. They have started taking food safety standards seriously. Having the FSSAI license can build trust among your customers and also help increase your customer base.
  • FSSAI logo advantage: The FSSAI logo is seen as a mark of validity and reassures customers that the food they are consuming is of superior quality. Once you receive the licence, you are free to display the FSSAI logo on your products. This gives your brand a better stand over food operators who don’t have accreditation from FSSAI, thereby helping you build your brand image.   
  • Assistance in business expansion: The FSSAI license can assist you in establishing your name and eligibility while heading in a new direction, thereby making it easier for you to apply for business expansion loans, whenever the need arises.

SOLV Launches “Vyapar Loan Mela” for MSMEs, in Partnership with Lendingkart, Indifi & Flexiloans

The 3-day Vyapar Loan Mela will commence in Delhi enabling small business owners to avail quick on-the-spot loan sanctions of up to Rs.50 lakh

18th February 2020, Bengaluru: SOLV, a B2B commerce platform for MSMEs, based in Bengaluru has launched “Vyapar Loan Mela”, a pioneering initiative to bring together new-age fintech lenders, to help small business communities with liquidity for business operations and expansion. 

  • The first phase of Vyapar Loan Mela will begin in Delhi this month with a 3-day event from 20th-22nd February at Karol Bagh, an important MSME hub in the North
  • MSMEs will have access to multiple lenders like Lendingkart, Indifi and Flexiloans
  • The initiative will also enable MSMEs with access to collateral-free loans at attractive interest rates and minimal paperwork  
  • Vyapar Loan Mela aims to provide a one-stop solution for the credit needs of MSMEs

With its unique technology platform, SOLV aims to simplify growth of MSMEs by addressing challenges of trading with MSMEs from across the country, access to credit and day-to-day business operations like payroll, taxation etc.

Only about 4% of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India have access to formal credit. Laborious paper-work, lack of alternate credit scoring methods and information gap have led to poor access to finance for MSMEs. With the launch of Vyapar Loan Mela, SOLV plans to bring the ease of hassle-free credit solutions to the doorstep of MSMEs and help them grow their business. 

Commenting on the launch of Vyapar Loan Mela, Nitin Mittal, CEO and Founder, SOLV said, “SOLV is pleased to launch this initiative to enable MSMEs to meet their credit needs, thus helping them focus on business growth and expansion. At SOLV, our vision is to provide MSMEs with an unprecedented growth edge through our B2B commerce platform. MSMEs are the economic engine of India and have a vast untapped potential; SOLV is working to help them unlock it and Vyapar Loan Mela is a step in that direction.”

Vyapar Loan Mela is open to all small and medium business owners. MSMEs will only need to submit copies of their GST, PAN card and latest 12 month’s bank statement. Disbursement of loans will take a maximum of 2-3 days, post final approvals.

4 Ways to Optimise Working Capital of Your Small Business

Do you have plans to expand your business? To put those plans into action, you would need a steady flow of working capital. But what is working capital and how can it be optimised for smooth functioning of your business? Read on to know!

What is Working Capital?

Working Capital is the measure of a company’s liquidity, efficiency and overall health. It takes into account cash, assets, inventory, accounts receivable and payable, debts due within one year, cost of hiring and training new staff. Simply put, working capital is money available to a company for everyday operations at any given point of time in a year.

If a company is not able to maintain a steady flow of operating capital, the business is at risk. The business is likely to face hardships in attracting investors, ensuring smooth flow of day to day operations and consistent growth. On the other hand, if a company is financially healthy and operating capital flow is maintained, it is an indicator that the company is efficient and growing. Therefore, it becomes vital to closely monitor your working capital.

The primary aim of optimising a company’s working capital is to ascertain that enough cash is maintained for daily operations. Since working capital measures the efficiency and short-term financial health of a company, it is of utmost importance for small business owners to have positive working capital for operating successfully.

Here are some ways in which a small business can optimise its working capital:

1. Keep Your Inventory In-check: Inventory planning is a significant factor in avoiding negative effect on revenue. Maintain just the right amount of inventory as overstocking can shoot up your costs. Keep a close tab on your stock and optimise it so that it doesn’t become obsolete over time. It will ultimately assist you in building the running capital for your small business.

2. Speed-up Your Collection Process: Set clear terms of payments, offer multiple payment options and stay on top of your bills receivables. You can also incentivise customers who pay on time. Identifying defaulters early and taking action will prevent your receivables from turning into bad debts. Avoid transacting with customers who have a history of defaulting.

3. Choose Vendors Wisely: Discounts from vendors will help save money which can be utilised in your everyday operations. Additionally, maintain a good relationship with them as it helps in receiving some leniency when your company is going through a cash flow crunch.

4. Take Advantage of Tax Incentives: Tax incentives from the government, such as a 3-year tax holiday in a block of 7 years, can help you save money which can then be routed into the working capital fund.

For your business to thrive, use the techniques above, along with timely analysis of your fixed and variable costs to cut down unnecessary expenses, and have a clear picture of your company’s financial position at all times. Doing so will provide you with opportunities for improving your cash flow.

6 Government of India Initiatives that Every Textile Entrepreneur Should Know About

Textile is one of India’s largest industries and the second largest in terms of employment – generating jobs for more than 45 million people in the country1. To enhance employment, exports, and to open doors to foreign investments, the Government of India is working towards improving machines and facilities for skill enhancement.

6 such initiatives to support the steady growth of the textile sector are:

1. Amended Technology Upgradation Funds Scheme (ATUFS)

Under this scheme, the government is providing credit linked capital investment subsidy to facilitate technology upgradation in micro and small enterprises. This is expected to lead to enhanced productivity, quality, employment, exports and import substitution in the textile industry.

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2. PowerTex India Scheme

Launched for the development of the power loom sector with an emphasis on knitting and knitwear, this scheme focuses on improving the existing infrastructure and encouraging modernisation in the power loom sector. Additionally, it aims to improve the quality and productivity of fabrics to survive competition in domestic and international markets.

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3. SAMARTH – Scheme for Capacity Building in the Textile Sector

There are many opportunities in the textile sector but there is a shortage of skilled workers. To address this, the Central government of India has launched a scheme for capacity building. The objective of this is to provide demand-driven, placement-oriented training to create opportunities in the organised textile sector and to promote skill upgradation in the traditional sectors.

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4. Silk Samagra – Integrated Silk Development Scheme

Initiated by The Central Silk Board, this scheme aims to maintain and strengthen Sericulture activities in India. This board carries out commercial seed production, certification and capacity building apart from implementing developmental programs in coordination with State Sericulture Departments. The emphasis is on enhancing the Silk industry in India by focusing on improving the quality and productivity of domestic silk and to reduce the country’s reliance on imported silk.

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5. North Eastern Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS)

This scheme aims to promote and enhance the textile sector, horticulture, handlooms, small-scale power loom and handicrafts among the North Eastern states (Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Sikkim, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh). The scheme is designed to help the textile industry produce better quality at large scale, contribute to India’s GDP, boost exports and preserve the region’s cultural heritage. Under this scheme, financial, infrastructure and technical support is provided for all types of materials, including jute, silk, cotton, wool.

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6. Comprehensive Handicrafts Cluster Development Scheme (CHCDS)

This scheme aims at benefitting poor artisans located in far flung areas of the country and raising their standard of living by generating employment opportunities. To make this happen, artisans and entrepreneurs are assisted in setting up improved units with modern infrastructure, latest technology and provided adequate training.

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Source: 1 Indian Textiles Industry Report 2019: https://www.ibef.org/industry/textiles.aspx

Budget 2020 Proposals: New IT slabs, Increased FPI limit, DDT gone

Budget FY 2020–21 was presented against the backdrop of consistent weak growth for the last 8 consecutive quarters wherein the GDP growth rate has persistently dipped. Concerns leading to subdued spirits in the economy have not been limited to a single sector. Moreover, the tax collections for FY 2019–20 from corporate tax, income tax, GST, etc. have been the weakest in a decade. So, the overarching pressure is to contain fiscal deficit, which is spiralling to 3.8% of GDP for FY21. Given this, the space for spending for FY21 is rather limited.

This year’s budget, therefore, focuses on opening up capital markets and making some changes to the tax structure. With regards to this, a few key proposals made by the Finance Minister are:

  • Increased FPI limit for corporate bonds: To promote greater participation by the Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI), the Government proposed to increase the investment limit for them from 9% to 15% of outstanding stock of the corporate bonds.
  • Abolition of DDT in the hands of the company: Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) has been removed from the companies and moved into the hands of recipients. Currently, as per section 115o of the Income Tax Act, an additional tax of 15% (plus surcharge and cess) is required to be paid on any amount declared, distributed or paid as a dividend by domestic companies. Such dividend income is exempt under section 10(34) of the Act in the hands of the shareholders.
  • Significant changes in the income tax structure: While tax rate has been cut in lower income slabs up to ₹15 lakh, standard deductions have been taken away in a bid to simplify the tax structure. As per the finance minister, this will result in ₹400bn of tax revenues being given up. Further, increasing the deposit insurance from ₹0.1mn to ₹0.5mn is a step towards protecting the small saver.
  • SWF investments in infrastructure: 100% tax exemption on income on investments (dividend, interest, capital gains) in the infrastructure sector by Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF) was proposed in the Union Budget. This is likely to boost the infrastructure sector by facilitating the much-needed capital.

Union Budget 2020: What’s in it for MSMEs?

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2020 in Parliament on Feb 1, 2020 and announced several schemes and measures for the benefit of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). She stated that the MSME sector is of utmost significance to keep the economy running smoothly.

Measures for MSMEs:

  • Audit turnover threshold increased to ₹5 Cr
  • National Logistics Policy to be implemented
  • ₹900 Cr debt-funding for MSMEs allocated
  • App-based invoice financing loans product to be launched
  • ₹2.83 lakh crores allocated for agro and allied sectors
  • Nirvik Scheme announced for higher insurance cover for exports and tax disbursement
  • Intellectual property creation and protection process to be streamlined

Increased audit threshold: The turnover threshold for audit has been increased from the ₹1 to ₹5 crores for small retailers and traders who form the majority of the MSME sector. This is applicable only to those businesses who carry out less than 5% of their transactions in cash in order to encourage a less cash economy.

National Logistics Policy: The soon-to-be-launched National Logistics Policy will aim to create a single window e-logistics market to make MSMEs more competitive. This scheme will have a four-year implementation period with a budget of ₹1480 crore.

Debt funding and GST: Sitharaman asked banks to extend restructuring MSME NPAs till March 2021. She mentioned that over five lakh MSMEs have benefitted from debt restructuring and allocated ₹900 crore debt-funding to the MSME sector in this Union Budget. With respect to GST, a simplified return format is being introduced from April 2020 onwards.

App-based invoice finance: To avoid issues of delay in payments and substantial cash flow mismatches for the MSMEs, amendments to the Factoring Regulation Act 2011 were proposed. As per this, NBFCs will be able to offer invoice financing to MSMEs through Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) via an app.

Agro and allied sectors: ₹2.83 lakh crores were allocated for agro and allied sectors including irrigation, rural development, and Panchayati Raj in the Union Budget 2020. Close to 35 lakh farmers will be helped by setting up of solar pumps in order to make their barren lands productive. The finance minister also committed an additional 152 million metric tonnes of warehousing facilities.

Nirvik Scheme for exporters: The Nirvik Scheme is designed to provide higher insurance cover, reduce the premium for small exporters, and to simplify the procedure for claim settlements. This scheme will also facilitate export tax disbursement which will make loans easily accessible for exporters. Under this scheme, the insurance guaranteed could cover up to 90% of the principal and interest of loans, along with pre- and post-shipment credit.

Digital platform for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): For seamless application and capture of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), a digital platform will be setup. As per the Finance Minister, it will help solve the complexities, and contribute to modernisation in the field of intellectual property.