The Government of Sikkim has proposed to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Union Ministry of Food Processing to enhance subsidy relating to food processing, logistics and post harvesting to a minimum of Rs 100 crores for entire north east including Sikkim to promote industrial activities in these areas, Khorlo Bhutia, Principal Secretary, Horticulture and Cash Crop Development Department, Government of Sikkim informed in Gangtok today.
Inaugurating Outreach Awareness Programme on Cold-Chain under aegis PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Khorlo Bhutia also announced that the government of Sikkim has also urged the PMO and other relevant departments in the central government to extend substantial financial support to the government of Sikkim or dairy development as it would lead to “Cow Protection” that’s manure would be useful to enable the state to retain its organic nature.
According to him, “Cow Protection” is critical in the state like Sikkim to retain the fertility of its soil to go on producing organic produce for its people and export purposes because with their manure, the state would carry on the fertility of its land and soil as it has already emerged as the only organic state in the country.
Elaborating on the subsidy factor for food processing units and logistics industry and post harvesting techniques, Bhutia said that currently subsidies to promote these industries in north east amounted to Rs 13 crore per annum which is a peanut.
Therefore, a proposal has already been submitted to the PMO including Ministries of Agriculture and Food Processing and the union cabinet is likely to dispose off this proposal shortly as indication to this effect have already reached to the northern eastern states including Sikkim, he said.
With higher subsidy, the farmers of north east will not only be able to increase its agricultural and horticultural production but also gain in higher returns on their production because number of industries in these areas would come up that would also increase local entrepreneurship, he pointed out.
He also said that the government of Sikkim will shortly launch Rs 150 crore worth of cashless agri and horticultural programme to promote cash crops in the state in next few weeks to enhance cultivation of cardamom, ginger, turmeric and the likes. The programme will be launched by the Chief Minister of Sikkim.
In his address KD Bhattacharya, Deputy Director, MSMEs- Development Institute, Kolkata, Government of India said that the Ministry of MSME has several subsidised programme and schemes to support for the prosperity of local entrepreneurs in Sikkim and urged to take advantage of them to hike organic produce in the state for domestic consumption as also export.
Director, PHD Chamber, Dr. Ranjeet Mehta in his remarks appreciated the efforts of the state government for inviting investment in the state as with this, enterprise in the state will grow and so the employment.