Millennium Post

FDI relaxation will boost food processing: Kaur

Minister for Food Processing Industries and senior Akali Dal leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday welcomed the Union Budget and described it a ‘futuristic, pro-people and pro-farmers’ that will give a boost to domestic growth and industrial economy. 

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for approving and announcing 100 per cent FDI in retail of food produced and manufactured in India, she said, “It would provide a tremendous impetus to investment in the food processing sector, thereby, benefiting farmers and create vast employment opportunities”. 

Badal said on Tuesday that the move would provide better prices to farmers for their produce through assured marketing mechanism as organised retailers would promote contract farming for quality products. 

“This step will lead to the creation of ‘swadeshi’ infrastructure with  ‘videshi’ money. This will help farmers get remunerative prices for their produce, transfer of technology and modern agricultural practices required for agricultural produce on a large-scale to meet the requirements of organised marketing,” she said.

She also welcomed the implementation of unified agriculture marketing scheme, which envisages a common e-market platform to procure agri-horti produce of farmers. 

The minister added, “A unified agriculture marketing e-platform will be set up, which will bring markets to the doorstep of farmers. This coupled with 100 per cent FDI in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India would result in big buyers reaching out to farmers for their agri-horti produce. Hundred per cent FDI will bring in higher efficiency in food processing industry and trade, and will make our food products more competitive in international markets.”

During his Budget speech on Monday the Finance Minister had said, “Food processing industry and trade should be more efficient. Hundred per cent FDI will be allowed through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) route in the marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India,” he said.

He hoped this will come as an impetus to the food processing ministry to boost the sector. 
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