Govt approves Rs 740 cr for Food Processing Min scheme

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The government today approved Rs 740 crore fund for the 12th Plan period for Food Processing Ministry’s scheme to facilitate the setting up of units and technology upgradation. “The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries for continuing the scheme of technology upgradation/establishment of Food Processing Industries during the 12th Plan (2012-17) for an amount of Rs 740 crore,” an official statement said.

the proposal has been approved to meet the committed or spillover liabilities of the proposals received by the Ministry during the 11th Plan up to March 31, 2012 it added. The Food Processing Ministry has proposed for continuing the scheme as it received a large number of applications during the 11th plan (2007-12), which could not be accommodated within the allocated budget. The scheme envisages back ended subsidy by way of grant- in-aid. Now, it has been included in the newly launched Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP) in the 12th Plan, for implementation through state governments, the statement added.

The cases which were received during the 11th plan and are pending, would be considered for sanctioning the financial assistance by the respective State Governments in the 12th plan. Lack of decision making affecting telecom sector: Khullar Telecom industry is under stress financially because of falling margins and lack of foreign investments due to lack of confidence in public decision making, Trai Chairman Rahul Khullar said today.

“Industry is in financial duress. Indebtness is huge… There is literally no flow of foreign investment…except for those companies which are foreign held. And they may need to infuse some capital to meet the new FDI caps. Otherwise there are no foreign investors banging down your doors trying to enter the telecom sector,” Khullar said, while addressing the National Telecom Summit organised by CII.

He said the real problem for this situation has been the loss of confidence in public decision making. “The real problem has been the loss of confidence in public decision making… The process is under doubt, the outcome is under doubt, everything is subject to increasing doubt and scrutiny; and that loss of confidence has spawned irrational fears and led to a situation,” he added. Khullar said that in the last few years everybody in the country just got carried away. “I am not talking about one individual, I am talking about the medium, I am talking about the judiciary, I am talking about Parliament…all of us, we just simply got carried away and everyone was willing to believe the worst.”

Hinting at the CAG figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss on issuance of new 2G licenses in 2008, he said the presumptive loss figure has led to a substantial real loss that has affected the sector. “…this presumptive loss business has led to a substantial real loss because what it has actually amounted to is almost a complete standstill in decision making…and that is something which has really affected the sector for the last four years,” Khullar added.

Talking about the measures that need to be taken to bring the sector on track, he said that firstly, licence issues should be resolved immediately. Secondly, there should be clarity on merger and acquisition (M&A) guidelines, he added. “Consolidation is the name of the game. But our M&A guidelines are simply not in place. Trading of spectrum for some reason has been treated as a holy cow. Everybody is buying spectrum on auction, why do you don’t let them trade.

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