The Punjab government has appointed additional deputy commissioners (ADCs) as nodal officers for prompt facilitation of the projects and setting up of big and small food parks for promoting food processing industry in the state.
Union food processing industry minister Harsmirat Kaur Badal said this while interacting with media after holding a meeting with legislators (MLAs), entrepreneurs and businessmen of the Malwa region here on Monday to highlight the central government's schemes for promoting the food processing industry.
She said that though a state-level officer for this purpose has been deputed at Chandigarh, yet nodal officers have been appointed for receiving applications at the district level and forward the same to Chandigarh and save time and energy of those willing to explore the industry.
The minister said starting from Punjab, she would cover all agrarian states in the county and sensitise the elected representatives and the nodal officers about food processing policies.
Stressing the need for taking food processing to the farm level, she dwelt on food wastage during harvesting and transport.
She said that under the National Mission of Food Processing, the Union government offered 25% of subsidy on new technology, upgradation and modernisation of technology of the food processing industry up to Rs. 50 lakh of investment.
Talking on the project for setting up mega food parks, she said that as many as 79 applications have been received for setting up 17 such parks across the country of which one park will be set up in Punjab. "It is a multi-pronged strategy wherein each unit will create employment for nearly 13,000 people, mitigate wastage of food and propel the country's economy," she said.
Giving details of various projects that her ministry financed directly and those that were sponsored centrally, she said the ministry gave away subsidies to the tune of Rs. 50 crore for mega food parks which involve a minimum investment of Rs. 150 crore from the industrialists.
She said co-operative organisations would be encouraged to take advantage of the grants of up to Rs. 2.5 crore each for building modern processing centres for milk, fruits, and vegetables.
Earlier, she laid the foundation stone of a building of Government Middle High School in Bambiha village that would be constructed at a cost Rs. 87 lakh. At Bathinda, she laid the foundation stone of the veterinary hospital to be constructed near Multania bridge.