A meeting to review the scheme was held where Rameswar Teli, Union Minister of State, Food Processing Industries and Chandra Mohan Patowary, Minister of Industries and Commerce were present.
MoFPI has launched the centrally sponsored the PMFME scheme for providing financial, technical and business support for upgradation of existing micro food processing enterprises. As a part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, PMFME scheme will assist two lakh micro food processing units spread across the country for five years, with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore. In Assam, the ministry has targeted to support 12,778 units with a budget allocation of Rs 638.92 crore.
Teli said, “The ministry wants to establish ten mini food parks in Assam. Six of whcih have already been sanctioned for Tinsukia, Morigaon, Sonitpur, Kamrup Metro, Darrang and Karbi Anglong, which are in various stages of implementation. The rest four will be sanctioned soon.”
He added, “The mega food park at Tihu is almost complete and will benefit the enterprises in this industry. The ministry has allotted Rs 3.39 crore to Tocklai Tea Research Institute for the establishment of a state-of-the art laboratory. We are also planning to set up a lab in Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) to test the quality of tea. A branch of the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology will be established in Sonapur, Assam. The ministry is providing a 50% subsidy for transportation through train and air service from north-eastern states to any place in India.”
Underlying the fact that 21 unique products have been identified for the One District One Product (ODOP) Scheme, Teli asked for the cooperation of the industry, agriculture and horticulture departments.
Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary asked the officials to take up the food processing sector on a priority basis. He asked FINER, FICCI and Laghu Udyog Bharati to prepare a roadmap for food processing industries to uplift the rural economy. “There is a huge potential for the food processing sector in Assam and the focus is on sub-sectors like fruits, ginger, turmeric and black pepper etc,” he added.
For implementation of the scheme, industries and commerce department is the state nodal department and Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) is the state nodal agency. The general managers of the DICCs have been nominated as District Resource Persons (DRP) for helping the applicants and raising awareness.