New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, Shri Rameswar Teli, while giving a written reply to a question on employment opportunities in thefood processing sector and increase in its share in GDP, in Rajya Sabha today, stated thatPradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana envisages creation of direct and indirect employment for 5,30,500 persons by 2020.
He stated that the Government has taken a number of measures and policy initiatives to promote overall growth of food processing sector and generate employment opportunities. 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through automatic route in manufacturing of food products and 100% FDI under Government approval route for retail trading, including through e-commerce, in respect of food products produced and/or manufactured in India has been permitted.
The Minister also stated that a special fund of Rs.2000 crore has been created with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to provide affordable credit to food processing projects/units. Food & agro-based processing units and cold chain infrastructure has been classified as agriculture activity for Priority Sector Lending (PSL). Fiscal measures like 100% exemption of Income Tax on profit for new food processing units, 100 percent income tax exemption from profit derived by FPOs having annual turnover of Rs.100 crore have been allowed for activities such as post-harvest value addition to agriculture. Lower Goods & Service Tax (GST) rates for majority of food products have been fixed.
Sh Teli further stated that the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is implementing Central Sector Umbrella Scheme-Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana (PMKSY). The period of implementation of the PMKSYis 2016-20 with a total outlay of Rs.6000 crore. The PMKSY has seven component schemes viz; (i) Mega Food Parks, (ii) Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, (iii) Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Clusters, (iv) Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages, (v) Creation/Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities, (vi) Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, and (vii) Human Resources and Institutions. Under PMKSY, capital subsidy in the form of grants-in-aid ranging from 35% to 75% of the eligible project cost subject to maximum specified limit is provided to investors under the various schemes for undertaking infrastructure, logistic projects and setting up of food processing units in the country. The MoFPI has recently launched a new Central Sector Scheme “Operation Greens’’ for integrated development of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) crops value chain, with an outlay of Rs.500 Crore to, inter alia, promote Farmers Producers Organizations (FPO), agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management of FPOs.