Local MP and union minister for food processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal has said her first priority as minister would be to bring the processed food in the reach of common people of the country.
On her first visit to the constituency after the parliamentary election results, Harsimrat, while outlining her priorities, on Thursday said the food processing industry can play a vital role in checking inflation but the sector was ignored by the previous government. The Shiromani Akali Dal leaders and workers welcomed her by offering bouquets while the district administration gave a guard of honour to the minister.
"Around 18% of food produced in India goes waste due to lack of proper food processing facilities. Food products worth of crores rupees go waste due to lack of proper harvesting, storage and transportation techniques," she said.
"We are making a policy to stop this wastage of food products. It will not only keep the prices of food products in control in the open market but will also bring processed food in the reach of every Indian family," she said.
The union minister said her priority in Punjab, which is an agriculture-based economy, would be to develop the state as a model in the food processing industry in the country. She added that the food processing industry has great potential not only to revive Indian economy but also to create jobs for unemployed youth.
About the Punjabi youth trapped in the war-torn Iraq, Harsimrat said the central government is taking every possible step to ensure the safety of these youths and maintained that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj are in touch with the authorities in Iraq to bring back the youths safely.
Later, she paid obeisance at Takht Sri Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo.