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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

ITC to set up Rs. 700 crore food plant in Kapurthala

Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times  Phagwara, February 28, 2014
First Published: 21:08 IST(28/2/2014) | Last Updated: 21:10 IST(28/2/2014)

Leading tobacco and food production company, Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) will set up its biggest food unit in Integrated Mixed Use Industrial Park at Kapurthala with an investment of Rs. 700 crore.

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Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal handed over the land allotment certificate for around 62 acres of land situated on Kapurthala-Subhanpur Road for the proposed plant at a public function here on Friday.

A MoU in this regard was signed between the ITC and the Punjab government during the Investors Summit in Mohali in December.

Though the ITC company is also the biggest tobacco manufacture of India, it has decided not to produce any tobacco products at this plant to avoid any controversy. The company's move comes in the wake of strong opposition to the government's decision to decrease VAT on tobacco products.

As per Sukhbir Badal, the allotment of land to ITC has been made under ongoing allotment scheme and the project shall be required to be commissioned at the site within a period of three years.

"The plant will manufacture all kinds of food products and it will give a big boost to the farmers of the area as all raw food material to be used in the manufacturing will be obtained from local farmers only," announced the deputy CM while addressing the gathering at the function.

Divisional chief executive of ITC's foods business, Chitranjan Dar, disclosed that the company will generate direct and indirect employment for nearly 2,000 people at this plant.

In the first phase, the integrated facility will consist of manufacturing blocks for production of ITC's branded packaged goods in segments such as biscuits, snacks, noodles, juices and Atta. "The investment by ITC in the manufacturing and logistics will add value to locally grown agri-produce," he said. Till now, the company has only one small plant in Punjab at Ludhiana.

In Phagwara, the deputy CM also laid the foundation stone of a sewerage plant. Pubnjab BJP president  Kamal Sharma was also present on the occasion.

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