Meerut: A national level mission has been started to improve the condition of food processing in Meerut. Fruits and vegetables worth crores are getting destroyed here per year. In order to protect the food items, food processing unit will be connected from warehouses under the mission. The chain of cold storage and ware houses will connect villages also .Besides this, the Centre will provide Rs 75 lakh subsidy to set up a cold storage. Rs 1000 crore were proposed to boost various resources.

Improper maintenance leading to destruction of 40 percent of food items

Last year, Rs 600 crore was proposed for food infrastructure in the budget. However, during 2012-13 it’s been increased to Rs 660 crore. As per records, 40 percent of fruits and vegetables get destroyed due to improper maintenance. A number of states will collaborate to launch the food processing mission. As per Ministry estimates, due to insufficient storage facility credibility of Indian fruits, international market is getting hurt.

Rs 1,000 crore to be spent on improving skills

Rs 1, 000 crore will be spent on creating skills for preserving fruits across the country. The VAT imposed on food items will be similar in the states. However, it will be reduced on food items like Soya processed food, soya milk, tofu etc.

Subsidy on Food Parks

Food processing department will release its first installment of subsidy for cold storages. The second installment will be released after 50 percent amount of the fund is spent.

One of the officials of Chambers of Commerce, Surendra Kumar says that opening of more cold storages in NCR will be possible, if the government makes its subsidy norms easier. Mega Food Park in west Uttar Pradesh can improve the face of food processing industry.

(JPN/Bureau)