New food processing policy on anvil

Chennai, Nov 14 | Updated: Nov 15 2005, 05:30am hrs
The government will introduce a Bill for the food processing industry in the forthcoming parliamentary session, which will clearly lay down the tax structure for the industry. The government will also formulate a Mega Food Park policy to help promote food parks in the country.

According to Union minister of state for food processing industries Subodh Kant Sahai, the new policy will extend special economic zone status to the parks. The minister has asked all the state governments to develop such food parks.

To protect the interest of farmers and to support the processing industry, the state governments should also promote contract farming. Availability of processable raw material is one of the key issues affecting the processing industry, he said. He said 26% of the countrys GDP was contributed by the food and agriculture sector. Of this 4% comes under the food processing sector.

It is a huge market which is growing with rapidly changing food habits. There is a lot of scope for large investment in technologies, skills and equipment, he said.Prime Minister has constituted a committee to facilitate the industry. The food processing sector is still untapped, he added.