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FOOD SAFETY

KFC to provide loans to eateries to set up in-house food testing labs
Monday, 07 January, 2013, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Akshay Kalbag, Mumbai
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The Kerala Financial Corporation (KFC) recently launched a scheme to provide loans to hotels, restaurants and food processing units across the state to set up in-house food testing labs and waste management plants (which are the need of the hour) in the small and medium sector.

The loan eligibility is to the extent of 90 per cent of the total project cost for units that are currently availing the loan facility from the corporation, and 75 per cent of the total project cost for new units.

According to a KFC spokesman, “The maximum loan that will be disbursed to hoteliers and food processing units is Rs 20 crore, and individual food business operators (FBOs) can avail a loan of Rs 8 crore.”

“Rapid urbanisation, change in consumption pattern, food quality and repeated food scares prompted us to come up with the scheme. For instance, our existing infrastructure is inadequate to deal with solid waste management,” he said.

Government & SMEs

Local self-governments and the state government introduced various schemes to solve the two issues, but they have not yielded the desired results yet. The small and medium enterprises (SME) sector in Kerala need to support the efforts of the public and government.

Rebate
The beneficiaries of the loan can use it either to purchase high-tech laboratory equipment of national or international standards or to establish plants for the treatment of waste and biogas units.

The loans are offered at attractive interest rates with a two per cent rebate for prompt payment, and one per cent additional cut for eligible cases that enjoy a good credit rating. The spokesman said, “The corporation is promoting the scheme by offering a concession in the processing fee.”

The processing fee charged will only be 0.25 per cent of the loan sanctioned, subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000. The spokesman added, “The repayment period of the loan will be five years, including a moratorium of a year.”
 
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