Punjab Food Processing Minister S. Laljit Singh Bhullar, on Friday, reviewed the functioning of the newly assigned Food Processing Department. During a maiden meeting, the Cabinet Minister instructed the officials to accelerate the department's operations to create maximum employment opportunities for the youth.
Presiding over the meeting in his office at the Secretariat with Additional Chief Secretary Mrs. Ravneet Kaur, Director Mr. Manjit Singh Brar and General Manager Mr. Rajnish Tuli, Cabinet Minister S. Laljit Singh Bhullar said that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann led government was giving a big boost to the food processing sector in the state, which will create employment opportunities and give benefit to the farmers to a large extent.
Apprising the Cabinet Minister about the various schemes of the department, Additional Chief Secretary Ms. Ravneet Kaur informed that about 66,000 micro and small food processing units are functioning in Punjab, of which two-thirds units are located in the villages, where jaggery, flour, rice, mustard oil, biscuits, honey, pickles, marmalade and animal feed etc. are being prepared.
She said that for the expansion of these micro category units, the entrepreneurs have to face various challenges such as lack of modern technology, difficulty in getting loans, lack of product awareness, branding and marketing etc.
She said that the department provides all kinds of support to the entrepreneurs of such units, which includes providing bank loans at cheap rates, connecting them with supply chain companies for marketing the products, providing free technical and business training, helping in getting registration of FSSAI, GST and "Udhyam".
Apart from this, financial assistance is also provided in setting up common processing/storage/packing infrastructure, she added.Discussing various schemes of the department such as "One District-One Product", "Financial Assistance and Training for Small Entrepreneurs" etc., the Cabinet Minister emphasized that the benefit of each scheme should be reached at the grass-root level and benefit of the scheme to the eligible beneficiaries should be ensured.
S. Laljit Singh Bhullar directed the officials to prepare new schemes related to food processing so that the economy of the state can be boosted.