Union minister for food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal wants the multi-brand retail trade in vegetables and fruits be opened for foreign direct investment, but with the condition that the entire fruits and vegetables to be traded would be locally sourced.
Inaugurating a seminar on 'Opportunities in the food processing sector' at the `Make in India Week' in Mumbai, she said she has already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allowing 100 per cent FDI in multi brand retail for such foods that are produced in India by the Indian farmers and food products that are manufactured by the manufacturers in India.
The minister signalled that the government wants all stakeholders on board before announcement of this change in policy and the response of stakeholders has been quite overwhelming. She said it would be a major step towards modernising of old kirana into modern food retail and providing fair remuneration to farmers.
The minister assured the investors that the government is viewing the entire food sector as a whole unlike the previous government looking at diverse stand-alone sectors working against each other. The government, she said, is working in tandem with concered ministries to deal with volatality of agriculture, food pricing, availability of food and consumer choice all as one.
Badal strongly advocated India to have a comprehensive food policy and said the government wants to link farmers with modern technology-driven agriculture practices.
She declared that regulatory mechanism in India is moving from licence regime to registration regime for seamless hasslefree production of food products and in line with this, thousands of new ingredient standards have been notified by FSSAI. We are committed to new and established investors and cannot let the legacy of inspector raj affect growth of food processing industry.