Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Easing of Clearance Procedures Needed for Growth of Food Processing Industries: Shri Pawar

Shri Pawar
The ongoing projects in the food processing industries sector that have been assisted by the Government will create an additional capacity of 1.7 lakh tonnes of cold storage, 1.37 lakh tonnes CA (controlled atmosphere) storage, deep freezers worth 57,000 tonne capacity, 591 reefer carriers and 103 lakh liter per day milk storage in the country. 

Stating this at a function here today, the Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister, Shri Sharad Pawar called for state level reforms and linkages between agricultural production and the requirement of food processing industries, for fast growth of the sector. 

About the non-alcohoic beverage industry, which is an important segment of the FPI sector, Shri Pawar called for developing economies of scale to make it globally competitive. He said: “There is a need for economies of scale to make our non-alcoholic beverage sector globally competitive and to improve productivity, enhance investment and employment. 

I am happy to know that major players in this sector are planning incremental investments to the extent of 10 billion dollars by the year 2020. I am certain that given the strong backward linkages of this sector with the agricultural sector, particularly in the areas of demand for sugar, fruits, pulp and vegetables, new and innovative ways of enhancing the yield per unit of land will occur.” 

Shri Pawar also expressed the hope that investors will make use of various incentives offered by the Government to them. “ In August 2013, the Government has approved 75 new cold chain projects. Out of these, 56 projects have already been sanctioned. MOFPI has now invited offers for setting up of 15 cold chain projects under the Scheme for Cold Chain, Value Addition & Preservation Infrastructure. 

I hope investors will take benefit of Government’s scheme of grant in aid up to Rs.10 crore for setting up a cold chain project. This will facilitate investment in food processing sector by improving availability and quality of horticultural products round the year,” he said. 

Taking about the problems faced by the food processing industries, the Minister emphasised the need for streamlining the clearance processes and other reforms. 

He said: “Protection of ground water levels and a clear water usage policy across states will reduce unscrupulous practices and wastage of scarce resource. On the regulatory front, around 40 different approvals are needed to set up a greenfield manufacturing plant. 

These include clearances from different government bodies at the centre, state and local levels. If the process is streamlined, India can develop as a manufacturing hub. A number of reforms have to be taken at the state level.

 For instance, there is an urgent need to have uniform classification for the non-alcoholic beverage sector by the State Pollution Control Boards and all states should classify non-alcoholic beverages under the ‘orange’ category along with other food processing industries. This will streamline the clearance process for setting up manufacturing facilities.” 

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