Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday described India as one of the fastest growing economies in the world while inaugurating World Food India 2017 at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. The Prime Minister further applauded India’s jump in World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings. “India has jumped 30 ranks this year in the World Bank Doing Business rankings. India was ranked number 1 in the world in 2016 in greenfield investment. India is also rapidly progressing on the Global Innovation Index, Global Logistics Index and Global Competitiveness Index,” he said.
Talking about home-based cooking techniques in India, he said, “Simple, home-based techniques, like fermentation, have resulted in creation of our famous pickles, papads, chutneys and murabbas that excite both the elite and the masses across the world,” he said. Modi described train passengers in the country as customers for the food processing industry. He also called the farmers in the country as annadata and said: “Our farmers, whom we respectfully call as annadatas are central to our efforts in food processing.”
At the start of the three-day event, PM said: “The government has undertaken a range of transformational initiatives. India is now the most preferred investment destination in this sector (food processing). It is a priority sector in our Make in India programme. 100 per cent FDI, is now permitted, for trading, including via e-commerce, of food products manufactured in India. A single-window facilitation cell provides handholding for foreign investors. There are attractive fiscal incentives from the Union and state governments. Loans to food and agro-based processing units, and cold chains, are classified under priority sector lending, making them easier and cheaper to obtain.”
“The unique portal — Nivesh Bandhu — or investor’s friend — that we have just launched, brings together information on Central and state government policies, and incentives provided for the food processing sector. It maps resources up to the local level, with processing requirements. It is also a platform for business networking, for farmers, processors, traders, and logistics operators,” the PM said.
“The combination of traditional Indian food, with modern technology, processing and packaging, can help the world rediscover the health benefits, and refreshing taste of Indian food ingredients. To improve last mile delivery, we are improving governance, by increasing access to digital technology. We plan to link our villages through broadband connectivity, within a clear time frame. We are digitising land records, and providing various services to the people on mobile platforms,” he added.
Food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said WFI was a “historic achievement” for the food processing industry with over 7,000 stakeholders from 60 countries converging on one platform. She said that the fair received investment proposals worth Rs 65,000 crore, which would create over ten lakh jobs.