The Minister for Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Harsimrat Kaur Badal has said that her Ministry shall soon put in place the National Food Processing Policy that shall become a mechanism for development of entire food processing sector in India.
In a meeting of the National Food Processing Development Council (NFPDC) held on November 19 under the Chairmanship of Minister Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal also called upon all the states, stakeholders, and industry to be part of this national initiative in framing The National Food Processing Policy.
The minister further added that Food Processing sector shall soon witness a positive changes and that the sector in fact needs transition from Licence/Approval regime to Registration regime so that government clearances do not hold up the growth of the sector. She asked all states to ensure that food processing projects are cleared within the stipulated timeframe. She hailed the initiatives taken by various states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Punjab in the field of food processing.
Badal called upon all the states to ensure that a Single-Window Clearance system is brought in the entire country and asked states to be proactive towards food processing as this is the sector which has the potential to become growth engine of our agriculture.
The minister also informed the members that a fund of Rs 2000 crore has already been set up under NABARD to make affordable credit available to the agro-processing units. She also informed the members that Food Map is uploaded on the website of her ministry and member states could further add regional and local information to the Food Map.
Regarding Make in India initiative of the Prime Minister, the minister opined that “Make in India growth story cannot be written without the chapter of Food Processing”.
Industry experts gave many suggestions like to bring in ‘ease’ of doing business in India and the number of central/state/local governments regulations that delay projects, and tax holiday status to food processing, developing technology for healthy food in the country. The minister discussed all the issues with the stakeholders and asked them to provide detailed notes of their suggestions also.
The meeting was attended by Prathipati Pulla Rao, Minister for Agriculture & Agri Processing, Government of Andhra Pradesh and Krishnamoorthy, Minister for Agriculture, Government of Tamil Nadu, various stakeholders and Industry Associations. The council members included Suguna Poultry Farm Ltd, Tetra Pak India Pvt Ltd, Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, Allahabad Canning Company; Dabur India Ltd, MTR Foods Pvt. Ltd, Allanasons Ltd,Mapro Foods Pvt. Ltd and Elmac Agro (I) Pvt. Ltd.