PM hardsells traditional foods

PM hardsells traditional foods

Flaunting India's big leap in Doing Business rankings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday virtually rolled out the red carpet for investors in the food processing sector inviting investments in contract farming and post-harvest infrastructure.

With global and domestic business heads in attendance, Modi also sought to hardsell India's traditional foods as an answer to that bring the benefits of preventive healthcare at a time when the world battled lifestyle diseases which was leading to aversion to use of artificial colours, chemicals and preservatives in food items.

"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 such as turmeric, ginger, and tulsi, to name just a few," the prime minister said inaugurating the World Food India 2017.

"Starting a new business in India is now easier than ever before," Modi said, adding that his government had simplified procedures for obtaining clearances from various agencies, repealed archaic laws and reduced the burden of compliances.

The prime minister said food processing has been marked as "priority sector" in the 'Make in India' initiative. "100% FDI, is now permitted, for trading, including through ecommerce, of food products manufactured or produced in India," he said, adding that the government has also lined up attractive fiscal incentives that make loans to food and agro-based processing units, and cold chains easier and cheaper to obtain.

CEOs of global firms such as Nestle, Unilever, Metro Cash & Carry lauded India's 30 spot jump on the World Bank's 'Doing Business' index. Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said she had received commitment from global investors of investments to the tune of $10 billion in the food processing sector which has the potential to create 10 lakh jobs.

Billed as the biggest congregation of global investors and business leaders of major food companies, World Food India aims to establish India as a preferred investment destination and sourcing-hub for the food processing industry.

The three-day event will host over 2,000 participants and 200 companies from around 30 countries. Apart from representatives of 28 states, it will also see participation of 18 ministerial and business delegations, nearly 50 global CEOs along with heads of all leading domestic food processing companies.

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