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Seven mega food parks are close to completion

Posted on Nov 09, 09:10PM | IANS

Of the 30 mega food parks approved by the central government, seven are at advanced stages of completion, a government official said Friday.

"Seven food parks are at the advanced stages of completion. Of them, the projects in Assam, Tripura and West Bengal are showing good progress. Funds have already been released to the respective state governments," Food Processing Industries Secretary Rakesh Kacker said here.

The central governmet has so far given final approval to 13 mega food parks and accorded in-principle approval to 17 others.

Kacker said land acquisition has been one of the biggest hurdles for the projects, launched in 2009.

He was talking to the media on the sidelines of a programme, organised by Indian Chamber Commerce (ICC) here.

He said of the Rs.660 crore allocated in the budget for the ministry this fiscal, around Rs.85 crore was earmarked for the mega food park projects.

He said in the 12th Five Year Plan, the ministry has proposed to make it "open ended" to give approval for setting up mega food parks.

"In the 12th Five Year Plan, we are proposing to make it open ended. So, we have no fixed numbers as yet. We are trying to make it open ended so that anybody wants at any point of time to put up a food park then he can come. And if he meets the eligibility requirements, then we can give the approval."

Kacker said the central government has recently given in-principal approval for one more food park in West Bengal.

Works at the Jangipur food park in Murshidabad district, for which the government had earlier given final approval, was going to be completed soon. The first phase of the project is expected to be operational by March next year.

"Recently we have given in principal approval for one more food park. It has to comply with certain conditions. Then we will give it the final approval," he added.