Food processing FDI to benefit farmers and upgrade infrastructure

food-processing-fdi-to-benefit-farmers-and-upgrade-infrastructure

Claiming their achievements in last 2 years, Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal in a press meet stated that Indian Government has managed to transforming Food Economy through Food Processing has been creation of huge 32 Lakh MT Capacity worth Rs.9000 crores within two years which shall reduce wastage by 10% per annum i.e. Rs.9200 crores every year.
The 100% FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) into Multi Brand Retail of Swadeshi Food produced and manufactured in India as one of the major steps along with the creation of huge capacity by way of 37 Mega Food Parks and 134 Cold Chain projects.
“India has started moving toward Zero Tolerance of Food Wastages. Emphasizing the need to adopt Zero Tolerance on food wastages by all departments connected to food, Badal said that initiatives of MoFPI have now started bearing fruits and her target is to bring down the food wastages to zero level”, informed the Ministry.
Kaur also announced that Ministry shall be announcing 100 Cold Chain Projects and a SAMPADA scheme focusing on seamless agro cluster development in the current year that shall take food processing industries to the next level.
“Government has sanctioned 37 Mega Food Parks out of which 8 have been operationalized. Out of 134 Cold Chain Projects sanctioned 81 have been completed” said Minister. “Through Cold Chains alone, we have added a capacity of 1.28 Lakh Metric ton of Cold Storages and CA 53.05 MT per hour of Individual Quick Freeze (IQF), 19 lakh litres per day of Milk Processing and 240 Reefer vans”, said the Minister.
Food Processing is an employment intensive sector and to facilitate investments, a single window facilitation cell has been created to handhold overseas and domestic investors in food processing sector. A Food Map identifying surplus and deficit areas of various agricultural and horticulture produce in the country has been made and is available on website of the ministry.
A Special Fund of Rs.2000 crores has been set up in NABARD to make available affordable credit to agro processing units in the designated food parks. Minister also announced that the Ministry shall be launching a Mobile App to provide ONE STOP information to farmers and entrepreneurs to provide necessary skill set to them for setting up food processing units.
Briefing about tax incentives Minister said that in last two years, Excise Duty on machinery for processing has been reduced from 10% to 6%. Pre-cold Storage services like pre-conditioning, pre-cooling, ripening, waxing, retail packing, labeling of fruits and vegetables have been exempted from Services Tax. Loans to food & agro-based processing units and Cold Chains have been classified under agriculture activities for Priority Sector Lending subject to aggregate sanctioned limit of Rs.100 crore per borrower.
Ministry has launched an ONLINE SYSTEM to file claims under flagship schemes like Mega Food Park and Cold Chains to remove human interface and improve transparency. Ministry has also simplified procedures by reducing requirement of documents and affidavits and created Grievance Redressal Mechanism so that promoters are given opportunity of Personal Hearing.
Since September 2015, 24084 persons have been trained in food processing sector under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana. The Minister pointed out that her next target is to create small and medium enterprises in food processing sector all over the country, and to give it a big push she has launched a new scheme ‘SAMPADA’ to focus on seamless development of Agri Processing clusters close to the surplus production areas.

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