I ICRIER Re­port un­veils un­tapped op­por­tu­ni­ties in cold chain busi­ness

Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture & Food Pro­cess­ing In­dus­tries, Govern­ment of In­dia; the on­go­ing projects in the food-pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries sec­tor will cre­ate an additional ca­pac­ity of 1.7 lakh tonne of cold stor­age, 1.37 lakh tonne CA (con­trolled

Cargo Talk - - Contents -

Ad­dress­ing a func­tion re­cently or­gan­ised by In­dian Coun­cil for Re­search on In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic Re­la­tions ( ICRIER), In­dian Bev­er­age As­so­ci­a­tion ( IBA) and Aca­demic Foun­da­tion in New Delhi; Sharad Pawar, Agri­cul­ture and Food Pro­cess­ing In­dus­tries em­pha­sised on state-level re­forms and link­ages be­tween agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion and the re­quire­ment of food-pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries for fast growth of the sec­tor. At this func­tion, an ICRIER Re­port on ‘Food Pro­cess­ing In­dus­try in In­dia: Un­leash­ing the Po­ten­tial of the Non­Al­co­holic Bev­er­ages Sec­tor’ was re­leased by the Min­is­ter.

Com­ment­ing on op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges per­tain­ing to non-al­co­hoic bev­er­age in­dus­try, which is an im­por­tant seg­ment of the food pro­cess­ing ( FPI) sec­tor, Pawar called for de­vel­op­ing economies of scale to make it glob­ally com­pet­i­tive. He com­mended the fact that ma­jor play­ers in this sec­tor are plan­ning in­cre­men­tal in­vest­ments to the ex­tent of US$ 10 bil­lion by 2020. “I am cer­tain that given the strong back­ward link­ages of this sec­tor with the agri­cul­tural sec­tor, par­tic­u­larly in the ar­eas of de­mand for su­gar, fruits, pulp and veg­eta­bles, in­no­va­tive ways of en­hanc­ing the yield will oc­cur,” he said.

Pawar also wel­comed the in­vestors to make use of var­i­ous in­cen­tives of­fered by the Govern­ment to them. In Au­gust 2013, the Govern­ment has ap­proved 75 new cold chain projects. Out of these, 56 projects have al­ready been sanc­tioned. MOFPI has now in­vited of­fers for set­ting up of 15 cold chain projects un­der the Scheme for Cold Chain, Value Ad­di­tion & Preser­va­tion In­fra­struc­ture. “I hope in­vestors will take ben­e­fit of the Govern­ment’s scheme of grant in aid up to R10 crore for set­ting up a cold chain project,” he added.

Pon­der­ing on the prob­lems faced by the food pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries, Pawar em­pha­sised on the need for stream­lin­ing the clear­ance pro­cesses and other re­forms. Presently on the reg­u­la­tory front, around 40 dif­fer­ent ap­provals are needed to set up a green­field man­u­fac­tur­ing plant. These in­clude clear­ances from dif­fer­ent govern­ment bod­ies at the cen­tre, state and lo­cal lev­els. If the process is stream­lined, In­dia can de­velop as a man­u­fac­tur­ing hub. Ac­cord­ing to Pawar, a num­ber of re­forms have to be taken at the state level. For in­stance, there is an ur­gent need to have uni­form clas­si­fi­ca­tion for the non-al­co­holic bev­er­age sec­tor by the State Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Boards and all states should clas­sify non-al­co­holic bev­er­ages un­der the ‘or­ange’ cat­e­gory along with other food pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries.

Also speak­ing at this event oc­ca­sion were Isher Judge Ah­luwalia, Chair­per­son, ICRIER; Sau­mi­tra Chaud­huri, Mem­ber, Plan­ning Com­mis­sion; Shi­raj Hus­sain, Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Food Pro­cess­ing In­dus­tries; Pankaj Agrawala, Sec­re­tary, Depart­ment of Con­sumer Af­fairs; Ashok

Gulati, Chair­man, Com­mis­sion for Agri­cul­ture Costs and Prices and Ajay

Shankar, Mem­ber Sec­re­tary, Na­tional Man­u­fac­tur­ing Com­pet­i­tive­ness Coun­cil.

On the reg­u­la­tory front, around 40 dif­fer­ent ap­provals are needed to set up a green­field man­u­fac­tur­ing plant

ICRIER Rec­om­men­da­tions

The ICRIER Re­port sug­gests that re­forms in agri­cul­ture, man­u­fac­tur­ing and re­tail are in­ter­linked and it is im­por­tant that pol­icy changes are more co­her­ent. For in­stance, the sur­vey re­spon­dents as­serted that un­less GST is im­ple­mented or­gan­ised re­tail­ers can­not stream­line the sup­ply chain. The re­port points out that the food pro­cess­ing sec­tor will ben­e­fit only if there are uni­formly low taxes for pro­cessed food. The pol­icy should also be uni­form, across the coun­try.

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