Food Processing Sector retailing to go Electronic says Siraj Hussain

Secretary -Ministry of Food Processing Industries Government of India

A release by  PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry

November 28, 2014
New Delhi.

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries on Friday called for setting up of a full fledged e-commerce counter in one of the administrative blocks of the central government to facilitate induction of corporates entities for e-commerce retailing in food processing sector, especially in its non-perishable segment under control of a Joint Secretary level officer. This indication was delivered by the Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Mr. Siraj Hussain at an International Conference on India Farm 2 Fork 2014 under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today also adding that the Ministry is working out on a separate GST regime for the food, agri and horticulture products in consultation with its all stakeholders in government and non-governmental sector.


As soon as the proposed consultations were over, the Ministry would forward its recommendations to the Finance Ministry, incorporating with them the tax concessions and incentives required to promote the agri and horti sector so that some of them are reflected in the Budget proposals for fiscal 2015-16, said Mr. Hussain.


Elaborating on its suggestion for creation of e-commerce department, Mr. Hussain said, “currently there is no such a thing with the government though e-commerce activities have begun to flourish in other sectors barring food processing in which corporate entry has yet to happen for e-commerce trade for processed food’s retailing especially in its non-perishable segment.  This issue needs to be taken up by leading Chambers of Commerce and Industry such as PHD Chamber so that a proposed department is created to facilitate e-commerce activities in processed food retailing”.


The Minister of State for Agriculture, Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan who while inaugurating the conference said, “the government is working on a comprehensive national insurance policy for agriculture sector to shield the farming community against all mis-fortune of their post harvest losses relating to all food and grain products including the damage of crops on account of attacks from pests and other such elements”.


Dr. Balyan, however, did not indicate by when the proposed policy would be unveiled but alluded that its salient features be rolled out in the forthcoming budget in which the focus would be for accelerated agri and horticulture production as well as increased yield of food grains including fruit and vegetables also.


In his welcome remarks, President of the Chamber Mr. Sharad Jaipuria said that time has come when policy makers should treat agriculture with preferential treatment so that its growth is revived from currently estimated 3.4 per cent per annum to a higher level and the contribution of agri sector to national GDP is accelerated beyond 14 per cent as of now.


Among others who participated in the conference comprised the Managing Director of National Horticulture Board Mr. Rajendra Tiwari; Vice Chancellor NIFTEM Dr. Ajit Kumar; President Technopak Ms. Saloni Nangia and Chairman Agribusiness Committee, PHD Chamber Mr. N M Kejriwal.