Food Processing industry must be an employment provider: Andhra CM

Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday said the food processing industry must be developed in such a way that it becomes an employment provider too, in addition to contributing towards state’s economic growth.

“Every department needs to take a holistic approach to prosperity. I am happy that there has been a great development in Food processing but we are growing at only 10% but we need to aim for 25 %,” the Chief Minister said on day two of district collectors’ conference.

“Ideate whether you want a new food park, processing plant, or want to bring out new incentives. Keep working on it and then only It would result in a great value addition. We need to develop a smart ecosystem for this and develop this industry in such a way where food processing industry is not just a growth factor but also an employment provider,” he added.

Andhra Pradesh government food processing department secretary Girija Shankar informed the Chief Minister about various achievements and targets for the food processing depart. He informed the Chief Minister that two food processing parks assisted by the state government were ready for inauguration while one was under construction.

Andhra Pradesh Food Processing Society (APFPS), in collaboration with Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT), was setting up a technology cum business centre, the Chief Minister was informed.

In a presentation to the Chief Minister, Secretary (Industries and Commerce) Solomon Arokiaraj told the Chief Minister that Industries in Andhra Pradesh registered a tremendous growth rate of 8.49% as compared to the national growth rate of 4.4%.

The Chief Minister was also told that till now the state was successful in attracting 2850 projects worth Rs 15,83,563 crore and would generate employment to 36,51,216 people.

Additionally, the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) made a contribution of 80% towards employment and contributed 34% towards gross state domestic product (GSDP). The Chief Minister was also briefed about the major business development needs of the MSMEs, which primarily were – credit, turnover, exports, quality, certification and e-commerce.

Secretary of Mines B. Sridhar, in his presentation, informed the Chief Minister that the Mines and Geology department surpassed its expectations and achieved a 109% growth above the target.

Department of Mines and Geology had conducted multiple workshops to appraise the existing leaseholders about the environment clearance (EC) requirements. Further, EC is also mandatory for grant of new leases, the Chief Minister was informed.

“Mining and sand policy has a satisfaction level of 86%. You need to go for value addition in this aspect,” said the Chief Minister to the department officials.

Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (AP-CRDA) Commissioner Sridhar Cherukuri presented the status of projects and goals for Amaravati, which is to be one of the top three happy cities in the world encompassing highest standards of liveability and infrastructure with a thriving economic environment.

He mentioned the key achievements of Amaravati, which included largest-ever successful voluntary land pooling; fastest completing on people-centric city planning and enrolment of 1,000 students in the first year of the establishment of SRM and VIT Universities.

The Chief Minister was also briefed on the details of the road ahead for Amaravati which included providing 80% public transportation, 3200 kilometres of cycle tracks and walk to work facilities within 15 minutes for its residents.

Neerabh Kumar Prasad, Principal Secretary (Roads and Buildings) presented the Chief Minister on some critical areas and developments. The Chief Minister was briefed on the goals of Roads and Buildings department which include all national highways in the state having minimum two lanes with paved shoulders and to have 100% pothole-free roads and providing no scope for water stagnation which can be achieved by giving out long-term performance-based contracts.

Out of the 13 districts, Kadapa, Chittoor and Kurnool were able to have their state highways 100% pothole-free.

Directing the Collectors to keep a regular check on road developments, the Chief Minister said, “Prior to monsoon all the works related to state highways must be completed. You need to work it out with the contractors and also conduct surprise inspection frequently.