Special Correspondent

State Government working on policy framework for the sector

GULBARGA: The State Government proposes to evolve framework to give fillip to the agro processing sector on the lines of the Agro-Processing Policy announced by the Centre.

The proposed policy framework would specify the basic agricultural produce that would undergo processing and the type of processing and the location of the processing units would be finalised based on availability of the basic agriculture produce, development hierarchy of the selected region, particularly the most backward taluks identified by the High Power Committee for Redressal of Regional Imbalances and feasibility of public private partnership and availability of capital either in the form of an investor or a group of farmers would be spelt out.

Official sources told The Hindu here on Thursday that the technical know-how for establishing the food processing units would be provided by the State Government and the project proposals submitted by individuals or groups would be scrutinised by experts in agro-processing business. The Government proposed to extend a subsidy scheme for these agro-processing units in the backward regions and the subsidy scheme would be on the lines of the scheme operating in the industrial sector.

Sources said a special advisory cell would be established in the Karnataka Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation (KAPPEC), which would provide backup facility and help build the forward and backward links for agro processing. As an incentive to the agro-processing industry, the Government proposed to declare these units as seasonal industry for the purpose of Labour Act and these industries would be exempted from paying minimum demand charges to KPTCL during the closure period of over 90 days at a time. A high-level committee, which went into the details of the policy framework for agro-processing units in the State, has recommended that the Government should fully exempt the payment of electricity tax and levy of concessional sales tax of 4 per cent on liquid fuel used for captive power generation without any time limit except for the units located in Bangalore Urban and Rural districts. The committee suggested that an incentive scheme should be formulated for the participation of agro-processing industries in national and international exhibitions and seminars related to promotion of food processing industries.

The committee suggested that the Government give exemption of stamp duty and registration charges for food processing units in the registration of land and other documents, except for the units situated in Bangalore Urban and Rural areas. In the power-starved regions, the food processing industry should be allowed to set up captive power generation units without collecting any levy.