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Working group under Kacker's chairmanship submits report on 12th FY Plan
Friday, 09 September, 2011, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Irum Khan, Mumbai
The working group for food processing industries, as constituted by the Planning Commission (Industries Division) in the month of May for laying down the terms of reference for the preparation of the 12th Five Year Plan, submitted its report recently.

The group, under the chairmanship of Rakesh Kacker, secretary, ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI), submitted an ambitious and progressive report for deliberations laying out the financial projections for the 12th Five Year Plan.

All the initiatives covered in the report aimed to increase the level of processing, reduce existing wastages and assist in achieving national objectives of increasing productivity and ensuring food security through increase in the income of the farmers.

This was informed by a working group member to FnB News. He also opined that it was important that the focus of the Plan was shifted to the states. "From the time, I joined the government, I realised that you cannot only run a ministry on Central schemes alone. Out of all the schemes being laid down, at least 30-40% should be Central schemes and 60% Centrally-sponsored schemes. In this way the issue of states not contributing to a project would not arise."

The working group, in its draft report, has suggested a financial outlay of Rs 15,000 crore for the 12th Plan, which will have an aggregate component of around Rs 10,300 crore towards providing capital assistance to projects such as food parks, cold chains, abattoirs, on-farm infrastructure and other food processing units. Based on the design of the assistance schemes, it may be possible to attract an investment of around Rs 35,000 crore in the food processing sector during the 12th Plan.

In compliance with the Planning Commission directions, the MoFPI had constituted sub-groups of the working group on the food processing industries, which were: (i) Infrastructure Development; (ii) Fruit & Vegetable Products, Consumer Industries, Grain Milling and Wine Sector; (iii) Meat, Poultry, Fisheries and Dairy Processing Sectors; (iv) HRD, R&D, Labs & Quality Standards; (v) Innovation, Institutional Strengthening, Marketing and National Mission on Food Processing; and (vi) Credit Linkages, Export Promotion, Global Competitiveness and Taxation.

The sub-groups were headed by senior government experts with members from various organizations / associations and experts in the respective fields. The All India Food Processors' Association (AIFPA) was a member of the main working group as well as the sub-group on Fruits and Vegetable Products, Consumer Industries, Grain Milling and Wine Sector. It actively participated in the discussions and provided the required inputs in the sub-group and also in the four meetings of the working group.
 
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