Ministry of Food Processing Industries has been implementing Mega Food Park Scheme to create modern infrastructure for food processing. However, project implementation is being delayed. 37 Mega Food Park projects have been accorded final approval by the Ministry. Out of these, 19 projects are operational, and 18 projects are under various stages of implementation.

The Ministry told Rajya Sabha last month that major reasons for the delay in implementation of the projects include time taken to issue various statutory clearances by the State governments, changes in project components midway through a revision in DPR and changes in shareholding pattern and bank approval thereon. Among other reasons for the delay include revalidation and disbursement of a term loan, GST on leasing of plots in private industrial parks as compared to no GST on government-owned industrial parks and funds constraints with promoters, etc.

Related Stories
Final approval given to 37 mega food parks: Ministry

The Ministry is implementing the Scheme as a sub-scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY). As per the guidelines, time schedule for completion of projects is 30 months from the date of issue of the final approval letter to these project proposals.

Many States have got approval for the project in 2014, but they are still in implementation mode. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab have three projects each out of which two each are operational in Andhra and Maharashtra and one in Punjab. The other States have one or two projects. No project has started yet in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Kerala as per the data presented by the Ministry.

The Ministry has identified major bottlenecks impeding the implementation of the projects and has modified the scheme guidelines. Release of grant instalment has been linked to proportionate physical progress on all project components including Primary Processing Centers (PPCs), Standard Design Factory (SDF) sheds and leasing of land to set up Food processing units, and the appropriate penalty is imposed for delays.