Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley has proposed in the 2016-17 budget significant relaxation in the FDI policy in food retail. He announced that 100% FDI will be allowed through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) route in the marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India.
The minister said FDI policy has to address the requirements of farmers and the food processing industry as a lot of fruits and vegetables grown by farmers either do not fetch the right price or fail to reach the market. “Food processing industry and trade should be more efficient,” he said.
Allowing 100% FDI will come as an impetus to the food processing ministry to boost the sector. “This will benefit farmers, give impetus to the food processing industry and create vast employment opportunities,” he added.
The office of the Minister of Food Processing, Harsimrat Kaur Badal has welcomed the proposal and said it would benefit farmers and create forward linkages and boost infrastructure. During the pre-budget meetings, the minister had urged the finance minister to relax FDI norms for food sector.
The finance minister has also set aside Rs 900 crore to support market interventions for price stabilization.