Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has said that her request for opening up of FDI in multi brand retail is only for the fruits and vegetables sector with the condition that the entire fruit and vegetables would be locally sourced. Inaugurating a Seminar on ‘Opportunities in the Food Processing Sector’ at Make In India Week, at Mumbai, she said that she had already written to Prime Minister for allowing 100 per cent FDI in multi brand retail only for such food that is produced in India by the Indian farmers and food products that are manufactured by the manufacturers in India.
The minister signalled that government wants all stakeholders on board before announcement of this change in policy and the response of stakeholders is quite overwhelming. She said that it would be a major step towards modernising of old kirana into modern food retail and providing fair remuneration to farmers.
The minister assured the investors that the government is viewing the entire food sector as a wholesome sector unlike it was being dealt by the previous government as stand-alone diverse sectors working against each other. But today our government, she said, is working in tandem with concerned ministries to deal with volatality of agriculture, food pricing, availability of food and consumer choice all as one.
She declared that regulatory mechanism in India is moving from licence regime to registration regime for seamless hasslefree production of food products and in line with this, thousands of new ingredient standards have been notified by FSSAI. We are committed to new and established investors and cannot let the legacy of inspector raj affect growth of food processing industry.
Interacting with the media, the minister said that she had requested for 10-year tax holiday for food processing units located in the Mega Food Parks. She has also requested for continuation of interest subvention scheme and applicability of GST at the lowest applicable rates for the food processing sector.