Ludhiana, May 16, 2018: Industry and Commerce Minister Sunder Sham Arora on Wednesday said that Punjab is serving as food bowl of the nation for decades but it would now set up new milestones in food processing sector in the upcoming years for which the state government led by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh will go beyond to make the state a favourite destination for food processing industry and a global leader in export of value-added Agri-produce.
The minister, who was here to inaugurate first of its kind Punjab Agri and Food Conclave held in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), told that three Mega Food Parks (Ladowal Food Park Ludhiana, Sukhjit Mega Food Park Phagwara, and International Mega Food Park Fazilka) are being established beside under the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor, a high-tech manufacturing cluster at Ludhiana and an integrated manufacturing cluster at Rajpura will also be built.
Arora said Punjab government through its Industrial and Business Development Policy-2017 has embarked upon a new journey to provide a favorable environment for Industry and businesses in the state and invited businessmen to invest in food processing sector which has ample opportunities to grow and mentioned that World Bank has also given best ratings to Punjab for doing business.
He disclosed in last few months, 150 renowned business houses have invested worth Rs 7000 crore in Punjab in agro and food processing sector that includes ITC, Pepsi, Mahindra, Godrej, Cargill, Nerolac Reliance, and others.
The minister claimed for more development of food processing sector in Punjab, the government has provided several benefits for such industries in its new Industrial and Business Development Policy-2017.
On being quizzed, the minister said that anyone can avail the loans from Rs 5 to 25 lakh offered by banks for starting their businesses and if they face any issue, they can lodge the complaint with department and action would be taken accordingly. He also revealed to media that deputy commissioners have also been clearly clarified in this regard.
Further, he also exhorted the established business houses to come forward to uplift the living standards of the poor people under CSR activity.
Industry and Commerce department's principal secretary Rakesh Kumar Verma and director DPS Kharbanda spoke elaborately about the new industrial policy of the government.
On the occasion, 25 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with various entrepreneurs worth Rs 70 crore were signed in the presence of Industry and Commerce minister Sunder Sham Arora.
Moreover, a MoU was also signed between the government and PAU during this conclave in which PAU will transfer the techniques to the food industry for the growth of food processing sector. PAU will offer 50 percent rate discount on its existing facilities for the food industry.
PAU Vice-Chancellor BS Dhillon, well-known businessmen Bhavdeep Sardana from The Sukhjit Starch & Chemicals Limited, Sanjay Singhal from ITC Limited, Akshay Bector from Cremica Food Industries Limited, Rinkesh Satija from PepsiCo India and Dr Sandeep Kapur from School of Business Studies, PAU also addressed the gathering in the conclave. Punjab Agro MD and Secretary Agriculture Vikas Garg was also present in this conclave.
The representatives from various food processing industries including NABI, Verka Ludhiana Dairy, Markfed, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, Punjab Agro Juices limited and others also exhibited their products and the minister personally visited all the stalls.