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Union Minister of state for food processing industries Rameswar Teli on Tuesday said that a project development cell has been formed to help and guide aspiring entrepreneurs to take their ventures forward in the food processing sector of the Northeast.
Attending a stakeholders’ meet on food processing in Assam, Teli, however, admitted that proper guidelines regarding the establishment of food processing units in the Northeast, in most cases, were not available.
“In order to solve this problem, a project development cell has been formed in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), which helps the interested entrepreneurs in counselling, and in the making of detailed project reports, etc,” Teli said.
He further said that under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY), a flagship scheme of the ministry, special benefits were available to the Northeastern states in terms of a higher rate of subsidy and other relaxations to attract investors.
For instance, the rate of subsidy in the Northeastern region ranges from 50 per cent to 75 per cent compared to 35 per cent to 50 per cent in other areas.
At present, 28 projects have been sanctioned in Assam under PMKSY, of which seven are operational.
The Union minister also informed that the Krishi Udaan Yojana has been specifically designed to keep the Northeast region in mind.
Teli urged the Assam government to make the PMKSY and Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises (PMFME) scheme accessible to the people.
He hoped that through the development of the food processing sector, farmers could get the right price for their produce, reduce post-harvest waste and create new opportunities for investment and employment.
(Edited by Laxmi Chyrmang)