Asks Industries department to send proposal for inclusion in Operation Green Scheme

Agrees to sanction three additional agro food processing clusters

Chief Secretary B.K Agarwal met Secretary, Food and Processing government of India Pushpa Subramaniam at New Delhi today and urged for immediate intervention for granting approvals of projects.

The Chief Secretary urged for notifying upcoming industrial areas Pandoga in Una, Kandrori in Kangra and Auduwal in Solan districts as Designated Food Parks (DFP) so that units set up in these areas could also avail various incentives admissible under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sampada Yojna.

Agarwal informed that union government has agreed to notify industrial projects ad DFP. The Union Govt approval would go a long way in boosting this sector as entrepreneurs will be eligible for availing various big incentives, Agarwal belived. He said that incentive at the rate of 50 percent of value of plant and machinery inclusive of technical civil work up to maximum 5 crore per unit set up in designated food park would be an attraction to prospective entrepreneurs as this incentive is only @35 percent in general category states.

The Chief Secretary also requested that Himachal Pradesh should be included in Operation Green Scheme launched by Ministry of Food Processing Industries as the state is rich in potato and tomato production. The GoI has conceded to this demand also and asked the industries department to send a proposal, he added. He said that this would bring a revolution in processing of tomato and potato besides creating capital assets in respective areas. He said that at present Himachal ranks at 12th place in tomato production which is 473 metric tonnes.

Agarwal urged that three additional Agro Food Processing Clusters under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sampada Yojana for Kangra, Mandi and Solan districts are to be approved for the state as there is adequate availability of agri-horticulture produce and added that last year’s fruit production was 6.15 lakh metric tonne in the state. The GoI has agreed for this demand. At present there is only one cluster for Kangra approved for the state, he said adding that it would ensure translation of unmarketable surplus in the state on one hand and generate employment opportunities to local people on other hand.

The Chief Secretary also apprised the Secretary that food processing sector will be one of the focus areas in the upcoming Mega Investors Meet and sectoral (F&P) road shows/events would also be organized to attract investment in this sector. The Secretary assured of all possible assistance and support for the same.