Cabinet okays nearly ₹11k cr for food processing industry

The Union cabinet approved a Rs.10,900 crore Production Linked Incentive scheme for food processing industry as the Centre sought to rein in farm wastage, ramp up farmer incomes, boost employment and establish India’s own brands of food products in international markets.

The government has cleared a Rs 2 lakh crore PLI package for 13 sectors, including electronics, pharma, air conditioners and speciality steel with the money to be spent over the next five years.

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal, whose ministry did the groundwork for the scheme, said the scheme for food processing was part of the Modi government’s effort to strengthen the farm sector and support farmers through the three farm laws, and will incentivise both domestic and international firms that commit investments and sales in agri-processing businesses.

The scheme, he added will help create 2.5 lakh jobs by 2026-27, boost exports and facilitate expansion of food processing capacity to generate processed food output worth Rs 33,494 crore. The effort is to take the country's food processing to the next level amid rising global demand for Indian ready to eat foods, organic products, processed fruits and vegetables, marine products and mozzarella cheese, Goyal said.

The government also said the first component under the scheme relates to incentivising manufacturing of four major food product segments — ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat foods, processed fruits and vegetables, marine products and mozzarella cheese.

Food processing secretary Pushpa Subrahmanyam said the government will issue an expression of interest by the end of April.

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