NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday made a strong pitch for foreign investment into the Indian food processing sector, stating that doing business in India had never been as easy as before. Speaking before a gathering of top global executives at the launch of the World Food India event here, Modi highlighted the surge India has seen in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings.
“Processes to do business in India have been simplified, archaic laws have been repealed and the burden of compliance has been reduced,” he said, adding that the government has undertaken a range of transformation initiatives to improve the ease of business.
“India jumped 30 ranks in the World Bank’s ease of doing business list. This is the highest improvement for India and the highest jump this year for any country. From a rank of 142 in 2014, we have now reached the top 100,” he said. He also highlighted India’s strong consumer base, rising incomes, a favourable investment climate and “a government dedicated to ease of doing business make it the ideal place for the food processing sector to invest”.
Speaking at the same event, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley pointed out that as the economy grows, it will impact lifestyles and the food industry would be a major beneficiary. However, the current infrastructure is not sufficient to meet the future demand and there is a need to add capacity as the population would not only grow but also become richer with an increase in GDP, Jaitley added.
“Food processing is going to be one of the principal industries of India in future, and an entrepreneur in 2017 should think of the industry from the perspective of where it will be in 2040, 2050,” he predicted.
The top two policymakers in India were followed by a flurry of global CEOs in the sector, who pitched their belief in India as a market with huge potential.
YES Bank to lend G1,000 crore to food sector
Private-sector lender YES Bank on Friday signed an agreement with the government to provide H1,000 crore financing for food processing projects.The funding will be provided to around 100 food processing projects with an average ticket size of H10 crore each, the bank said in a statement. The focus will be on projects across backend infrastructure, cold chain creation of processing units among others.