The Food Processing Ministry has sought budgetary support of Rs 1,000 crore next fiscal to help promote various schemes aimed at attracting private participation in the development of the sector.
"This is a crucial stage for the sector (as investors are coming forward). We have asked for Rs 1,000 crore allocation
for next fiscal. Some very serious thoughts are going on at the highest level of the government to give the sector a
priority," Food Processing Industries Secretary Ashok Sinha told PTI here.
Sinha said although the Finance Ministry had allocated Rs 380 crore for the sector this fiscal, the actual disbursement so far is only Rs 240 crore.
"I admit that we could not do well. It's because, we were busy framing schemes to spend them for the first two years.
Only when the money is allocated to you, you can frame them.
Private parties have to be encouraged to participate," he said.
For the first three years of the current plan period (2007-12) the Food Processing Ministry was allocated Rs 880
crore, out of a total of Rs 4,031 crore envisaged for this time.
"However, we could not spend the entire Rs 880 crore allocated to us. We spent less and that is Rs 680-700 crore.
Now, we have a feeling that the time for a quantum jump has come," Sinha said.