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Indian state receives investment proposals worth $1.22bn in food processing

Published 29 October 2015

The Government of Punjab, a northern state of India, has received 55 investment proposals worth Rs 80bn ($1.22bn) for the establishment of food processing units.

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Among the interested parties, food conglomerate ITC and Poland's offers stood out, with both committing to make heavy investments.

The Punjab government also announced exemption of taxes on inputs of food processing sector in order to build the state as a food processing destination.

Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Badal was quoted by The Economic Times as saying that more than 40% of the central procurement of wheat, 26% of rice, and 75% of kinnows and oranges and 7.5% of total milk production in India comes from Punjab.

The minister added that the focus area of investment for the state is food processing and the government is trying to get big investments.

The minister also added that the state is seeking to employ modern methods of food processing, reported The Economic Times.

Meanwhile, Indian consumer goods company ITC also declared that it would double its investments in the Punjab food processing sector to from Rs7bn ($107m) to Rs14bn ($214m). The company is also interested in sourcing Kinnow fruit which grows in Punjab to make juice at its facility in the state, reported Money Control.

ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar was quoted by Money Control as saying: "We already have in mind to compete against imported orange juice and beverages with Kinnow from Punjab. If all goes well, then within three months from now, Kinnow sourced from Punjab will be marketed by ITC and processed it here in our facility."

Meanwhile, Poland is in discussions with the state government to offer latest technology from the country. Ministry of Economy Secretary of State Witold Jerzy Pietrewicz said that a MoU was signed between Punjab and Lublin to boost the business ties between the countries specifically in agriculture and food processing sectors, reported The Times of India.

The ministry delegation said that Poland and Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) will collaborate on research and development activities in food processing and agriculture sectors.

Image: Indian food processing sector to benefit from new investments. Photo: Courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.