Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday gave in-principle approval for setting up a Rs. 150-crore mega food park at Ladowal in Ludhiana to promote food processing industry in the state.
The CM has asked Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC) to finalise the Detailed Project Report (DPR) regarding the proposed food park at the earliest for submitting it to the Union Food Processing Ministry, an official spokesperson said.
Two-time MP from Bathinda, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, wife of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, took charge of the Ministry of Food Processing yesterday.
Badal has also asked the concerned authorities to complete the entire plan along with getting requisite approvals simultaneously within three months.
They have also been asked to finalise a policy for allotting land sites in this mega food park to companies which would firm up big investments in a time bound manner.
The Centre's scheme of mega food park, which aims at providing a mechanism to link agricultural production to the market, envisages a one-time capital grant of 50 per cent of the project cost, subject to a maximum of Rs. 50 crore in general areas and 75 per cent of the project cost, subject to a ceiling of Rs. 50 crore in difficult and hilly areas.
The Chief Minister also gave approval to establish two new ultra modern fish markets at Amritsar and Bathinda on the pattern of already approved at Ludhiana, the spokesperson added.
In another significant decision pertaining to the establishment of maize processing cluster in the state, the Chief Minister asked the department to identify a large chunk of land besides working out a comprehensive plan for it.
The CM also asked the Punjab Agro and Horticulture Department to tie-up with key players like Walmart and others to fetch remunerative price to growers and launch a vigorous advertising campaign for proper marketing of Kinnow fruit from the state to across the globe.
Badal assured the department that every horticulture seed farm would be strengthened and upgraded by equipping them with all modern facilities to produce quality seeds.
He also told the department to promote high density horticulture farming along with drip irrigation facility which would help in bailing out the farmers from the current agrarian crisis.