Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday announced the allocation of 17 mega food parks, entailing a total investment of Rs 2,100 crore, to various states and private ventures, including two for Punjab.
Making the announcement in New Delhi, Harsimrat said these mega food parks had been sanctioned for Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar. All are to be set up within 30 months.
The Punjab Agro Industries Corporation would set up a multi-product mega food park on 100 acres at Ladhowal Farm, Ludhiana, at a cost of Rs 140.5 crore, for which land has been allotted by the state government. Sukhjit Starch would establish a park at Rehana Jatan, Phagwara, costing Rs 120 crore.
These projects are expected to attract an investment of more than Rs 6,000 crore and have the potential to provide employment to around 80,000 people, besides benefiting more than 50,000 farmers. She added the ministry had sanctioned 42 projects, of which 25 parks had already been allocated.
She said the ministry had till date sanctioned 112 integrated cold chain projects with a grant of Rs 935 crore and private investment of Rs 1,800 crore. Of these, 48 cold chain projects have already been completed.
The Union minister said in order to provide growth to the food processing industries, excise duty on food processing and packaging machinery had been reduced from 10% to 6%. A special fund of Rs 2,000 crore has been set up in the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) to provide affordable credit to food processing units to be set up in designated food parks. Besides, a food map of India identifying surplus raw material has been prepared and uploaded on the ministry’s website.
Harsimrat added that states had been asked to put forth proposals for sanctioning of new food parks. “It would be ensured that at least one mega food park is established in every state,” she added.?