New Delhi: Food Processing Ministry has asked the Commerce Ministry to grant SEZ status to mega food parks being set up to link agricultural products to the market.
Food Processing Ministry has proposed a separate policy for food parks allowing them to sell at least 50% in the domestic market but would be treated at par with the special economic zones, Minister of State for Food Processing Industry Subodh Kant Sahai said on the sidelines a CII summit.
“We are giving up to Rs 50-crore grant to mega food parks which should be given the SEZ status,” he said.
Units in the SEZ are given 100% tax exemption for the first five years and 50% in the subsequent five years.
The government has already announced setting up of 30 mega food parks during the 11th Plan period (2007-12) to bring together farmers, processors and retailers and link agricultural production to the market.
Admitting that India’s share in the global processed food market is meagre, Sahai said the country targets an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore during the 11th Five Year Plan period (2007-12) to double its share to 3%.
“We are hardly contributing 1.55% to the global market and we want to raise it to 3%. We need investment for that. I am going forward with a target of Rs 1 lakh crore for the sector,” Sahai said after inaugurating a two-day Summit on ‘Processed Foods - Advantage India 2008´.