New Delhi: With the 100 per cent FDI announced in marketing of food items produced in India, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has pitched for investing 25 per cent of the inflows for creating agriculture infrastructure.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget had announced that 100 per cent FDI would be allowed through FIPB route in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India.
"I was pushing for the 100 per cent FDI in food processing sector with a purpose to raise farmers' income. Therefore, now I have suggested that there should be a mechanism to ensure that at least 25 per cent of FDI inflows are invested on infrastructure at the farm level, directly benefiting the farmers," Badal told PTI.
The Minister further said the budget was focussed on agriculture and farmers and this decision will also help in overall growth of the agriculture sector.
"The investment should be such which leads to more mechanised farming, better irrigation facilities among others, so that the quality of produce improves and above all helps in doubling the farmers' income," she said.
The Minister has also raised this issue with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the Finance Ministry, a senior official said. After the finalisation of the details on the subject, the DIPP will prepare a Cabinet note for approval, an official said. Earlier, Badal had said FDI in food processing would lead to creation of 'swadeshi' (local) infrastructure with 'videshi' money (foreign investment).
The processing of agri-produce is also expected to double with the FDI inflows and the wastage of agriculture produce will come down, resulting in lower inflation, the Minister had said.
During April-December 2015, FDI inflows grew by 40 per cent to USD 29.44 billion. Out of which USD 385.45 million was invested in the food processing sector. The food processing sector has attracted USD 5,285.66 million FDI during April 2012 to December 2015 period....