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Food processing min urge corporates to invest in north east 

Devdiscourse , Aug 29, 2019

Union minister of state for food processing industries Rameshwar Teli on Thursday said the government is finding it difficult to spend the budgetary allocation for the sector in the north east and urged the corporates to invest in the region. Speaking at the 12th FICCI Foodworld India 2019, Teli said his ministry has been making representations to the government to increase the budgetary allocation for the sector which currently stands at Rs 1,400 crore.

"Of this amount, nearly 10 per cent or Rs 140 crore has to be spent in north east. We have managed to spend only Rs 30 crore so far and we still have Rs 110 crore in balance. I urge all the stakeholders to take benefit of this situation to flourish their businesses here," the minister said.

He said the government will provide all the necessary facilities and amenities to the industrialists and young entrepreneurs to set up food processing industry in the country especially in the hilly terrains. "We have asked prime minister Modi to increase the allocation for the food processing industry. But he said that we should first utilise the funds already allocated. I want the allocation to this department to go up and urge the industry players to invest in the north east, where we are finding it difficult to spend the entire amount," Teli said.

The minister further said the government will soon hold roadshows to invite industry players to set up businesses in Jammu and Kashmir. "Most of the players are unaware of the benefits offered by the government in this sector. As much as 50 per cent subsidy will be offered to the stakeholders for setting up smaller units and up to 75 per cent subsidy if its in a mega food park," Teli added.

He also said that the industry players have been raising questions regarding the safety and security in these regions, "but we want to ensure that we are taking all the necessary precautions. We did it in Assam and Manipur, we will do it in Jammu and Kashmir as well." Speaking about the initiatives taken by the government to boost the sector, joint secretary, ministry for food processing industries Reema Prakash said the Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojna will not only provide a big boost to the growth of the food processing sector in the country but also help in providing better returns to farmers. "Currently, food processing accounts for only 6.9 per cent, while in developed countries it is around 60-70 per cent. The steps taken by the government will, however, enable doubling of farmers income, creating huge employment opportunities especially in the rural areas, reducing wastage of agricultural produce, increasing the processing level and enhancing the export of processed foods," she added.

Kellog's India managing director Mohit Anand said that the food processing sector has the potential of becoming a Rs 50,000 crore sector which will not only focus on improving farmer's income but also improve the employment and infrastructure and stay aligned with the countrys nutrition and health agenda. ITC Food Division CEO Hemant Malik said the food processing sector has immense potential for value addition and development as it leads and synergizes the two pillars of the economy- industries and agriculture." Through various government initiatives and reforms have resolved a lot of hurdles faced by the industry making, he added.



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