To attract investment in cold chain infrastructure, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is implementing the Central Sector Scheme of Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure since 2008-09. The scheme has provision for providing financial assistance for setting up of integrated cold chain infrastructure for arresting post harvest losses. The scheme provides financial assistance up to Rs 10 crore to entrepreneurs per project for setting up the cold chain infrastructure in the country.
In addition, National Horticulture Mission (NHM), National Horticulture Board (NHB), and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) under Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture& Farmers Welfare and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India are also providing assistance for setting up cold storages under their respective schemes. Various other incentives provided by the Government to promote this sector are as below:
Services of pre-conditioning, pre-cooling, ripening, waxing, retail packing, labelling of fruits and vegetables have been exempted from Service Tax in Budget 2015-16.
Loans to food & agro-based processing units and Cold Chain have been classified under Agriculture activities for Priority Sector Lending (PSL) as per the revised RBI Guidelines issued on 23/04/2015.
Under Section 35-AD of the Income tax Act 1961, deduction to the extent of 150% is allowed for expenditure incurred on investment for (i) setting up and operating a cold chain facility; and (ii) setting up and operating warehousing facility for storage of agricultural produce.
Government has extended Project Imports’ benefits to cold storage, cold room (including for farm level pre-cooling) or industrial projects for preservation, storage or processing of agricultural, apiary, horticultural, dairy, poultry, aquatic and marine produce and meat. Consequently, all goods related to Food Processing, imported as part of the project, irrespective of their tariff classification, would be entitled to uniform assessment at concessional basic customs duty of 5%.
Refrigeration machineries and parts used for installation of cold storage, cold room or refrigerated vehicle, for the preservation, storage, transport or processing of agricultural, apiary, horticultural, dairy, poultry, aquatic and marine produce and meat under Tariff Head: Chapter 84 are exempted from Excise Duty.
Construction, erection, commissioning or installation of original works pertaining to post-harvest storage infrastructure for agricultural produce including cold storages for such purposes are exempted from Service tax.
Capital investment in the creation of modern storage capacity has been made eligible for Viability Gap Funding scheme of the Finance Ministry. Cold chain and post-harvest storage has been recognized as an infrastructure sub-sector.
This information was given by Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in a written reply in Lok Sabha.