ITC to double investments in food processing sector in Punjab to Rs 1,400 crore: YC Deveshwar

Mohali: FMCG giant ITC on Wednesday said it will double its investments in the food processing sector in Punjab from Rs 700 crore to Rs 1,400 crore.

Besides, the company is interested in sourcing Kinnow fruit from Punjab for making juice at its facility in the state.

“For integrated food processing park, we had committed Rs 700 crore. But after having gone back from here, we soon came to the conclusion that Rs 700 crore was not enough to make investment in the food bowl of India.

“So, we upped the investment to Rs 1,400 crore,” ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar said while addressing the second edition of Progressive Punjab Investors Summit on Wednesday.

The company, which is coming up with its integrated food processing park at Kapurthala, will also increase area for its upcoming manufacturing facility.

“I am happy to inform that construction is on at 40 acres of land (in Kapurthala),” he said, adding that the facility’s acreage would be increased to 71 acres.

In the first edition of investor summit in 2013, ITC had announced to invest Rs 700 crore in food processing sector in Punjab.

He also hailed the Punjab government’s move to exempt all taxes on food processing inputs.

Deveshwar further said that he was also keen on sourcing Kinnow from Punjab and invest in hospitality sector in the state.

“Barring unforeseen circumstances, this kind of tax free inputs, Punjab should be the place from where all value added food processing products should be supplied all over India.

“We already have in mind to compete against imported orange juice and beverages with Kinnow from Punjab. If all goes well, then within three months from now, Kinnow sourced from Punjab will be marketed by ITC and processed it here in our facility,” he said.

“We are also in tourism and hospitality business and will be very happy to make further investment if opportunity was given for land at right location. We will make investment in luxury hotel, convention centre or large facility where conference should be held here,” he added.