Published On:March 16 2016
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Keen to operationalise all 42 food parks in 30 months: Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Government is keen to make all 42 mega food parks operational in next 30 months with an entailing investment of over Rs. 12,000 crore, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said recently.
'During UPA government's tenure, only two parks became operational, while this ( NDA) government has made five such parks operational in less than two years time,' Badal said adding that within this year, four parks are likely to become functional.
India is one of the largest producers of food globally, but despite having huge sources of raw material, only 10 per cent is processed.
'The government is keen to operationalise all 42 mega food parks in next 30 months so as to raise the processing levels substantially,' Badal said.
Food processing can significantly reduce wastage, generate employment, offer better prices to farmers and help in reducing food inflation, she said.
Appreciating Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's announcement to allow 100 per cent FDI through FIPB route in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India, Badal said the move will help create local infrastructure with foreign funds.
This will eventually increase farmers' income and would also help check inflation.
With the rise in FDI inflows, the investment in food parks will also increase which will further accelerate employment.
A minimum investment of Rs. 125 crore is required to establish one food park.
A mega food park provides various facilities to food processors, farmers, retailers and exporters, helping achieve faster growth of food processing industries.
Under the scheme (2008-09) of mega food parks, the Food Processing Ministry had sanctioned 42 projects throughout the country.
The scheme envisages one time capital grant of 50 per cent of the project cost (excluding land cost) subject to a maximum of Rs. 50 crore in general areas.