Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Ministry of Food Processing Industries claimed that 4.90 lakh direct employment has been generated and investment commitment of nearly Rs 1 lakh crore has been made in the last year alone. She also said that out of the investment commitment of nearly Rs 1 lakh crore, an investment worth Rs 73,000 crore have started shaping out.
With the highlight of her four years of achievement in the Food Processing industry, the minister while addressing a press conference on the achievements of her ministry in the past four years, said, “Food Processing is all set to become the most robust sector in India to contribute to India’s growth and the sector is all set to double farmers’ income by 2022 as envisioned by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji.”
She also said that the ministry is in the process to create a new Financial Institution that will exclusively fund food processing projects and create a capacity building in the field of risk assessment and lending to food processing sector.
“Request for proposal for the institution which will be called Agro Processing Financial Institution will be out by July 2018. It will be a Non-Banking Financial Institution and will be largely driven by the private sector and government will act as a facilitator. There is keen interest in the institution by both national and international companies,”
She claimed credit to bring the sector on world food map and said that with the creation of 13 mega food parks about 3.5 lakh jobs have been created.
Badal specified that four years ago when she took over, food processing sector was totally “disorganized and the industry was apprehensive of launching new projects or products” and committed projects were being delayed and shelved. “After four years she has reversed the business environment and turned it into the most buoyant and happening sector,” she said.
“The last government-sanctioned 42 Mega Food Parks from the year 2008 onwards and six years later when I took over, only two (one of them Patanjali) could get operationalized during 2008 to 2014. I can now proudly say that overall 25 Mega Food Parks would be operationalized by 2018 out of the 15 already been completed so far and 15 more shall be operationalized by 2019,” said the minister.
Also, she pointed out that four years ago the industry was apprehensive of the Food Regulator FSSAI and today FSSAI has harmonized itself to world standards.
Government is creating a Cold Chain Grid to link every nook and corner of India by its 42 Mega Food Parks, 234 Cold Chain Projects and around 700 projects under PM Kisan Sampada Yojana. With the schemes of the ministry, more than 33 lakh farmers shall be directly benefited every year and their number shall keep increasing.