The Goa health department has stopped giving clearances to new spas and restaurants in the state till a new health act is passed.
Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said Friday that the existing act would be amended to remove certain discrepancies and provide more powers to officers for taking action against irregularities.
For now, the health department has stopped giving permissions under the Act to new restaurants and spas, he said.
"Under the new act we want to set up a special cell which will have the power to give licenses to spas and restaurants," he said.
While the Food and Drugs Administration has the powers to act against spas and restaurants for violation of rules, it is not enough to check illegal practises, the minister said.
"I want to amend the health act in such a way that it backs up the FDA act. Both should complement each other," he said.
The amendment to the Health Act would also provide for heavy penalties on restaurants operating without valid permissions, Mr Rane said.
The act would be amended in the next Assembly session, he said.
The health department will also stop giving permission to restaurants to run from residential complexes, the minister said.
He has discussed the proposed amendments with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who has given some suggestions to "make it more stringent", Mr Rane said.