NEW DELHI: Policymakers in India should consider including food processing as part of the infrastructure definition since it would prove helpful for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the long term, feel industry experts.
India, which continues to reel under the pressure of high inflation, is not expected to witness any rate cuts during its upcoming Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) monetary policy review scheduled to be held on October 30. Experts feel that RBI should allot SEZ status to mega food parks under the ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI). The mega food parks should get same benefits such as SEZ.
It is also believed that RBI should bring stability in the exchange rates, which will make it helpful in making imports of food processing machinery affordable.
While talking to SME News about the food processing industry, MA Tejani, president of All India Food Processors’ Association and managing director of Gits Foods, said, “RBI should take steps to stabilise exchange rates so as to make imports of food processing machinery affordable. RBI should also direct and monitor commercial banks to make available adequate and timely credit as SMEs fall under priority sector lending and food industry is an additional priority sector. Thus, it commands double priority.”
The food processing industry should get exemption on marketing duties globally to increase the popularity of the Indian foods internationally.
With the risk of inflation continuing to loom large, the trade deficit worsening and CPI inflation about double digits, the RBI is not expected to lower the guard down on inflation and cut interest rates.