Govt to partner pvt sector for food testing labs; offers 50% fundi

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New Delhi, Aug 5 (UNI) In view of the lack of food quality testing centres in the country, the government today said it will provide 50 per cent funding to the private players for setting up these labs.

''We are ready to partner with the companies which are setting up food quality labs. The private players will get 50 per cent funding from the government,'' Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahay told reporters at the National Seminar on Food Safety and Quality in Kitchen, organised by the CII.

The Minister said he would like to set up about 50 such centres, though one centre per state would also be a decent number.

''It is a sad thing that for birdflu testing, the entire country has to rely on just one testing centre in Madhya Pradesh,'' Mr Sahay said.

The increased reach will also ensure that the quality standards required can be met and are available at the doorstep of the industries.

''As there are large numbers of small-scale units involved in the food processing, these laboratories would ensure that small players also take the certification from the quality laboratories,'' Mr Sahay said.

The government is already offering 50 per cent refund to the companies setting up food processing units and also gives them tax holidays.

According to an estimate by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the country's food processing industry is expected to growth to 330 billion dollars by 2014-15 from its current level of 100 billion dollars, growing at 13.7 per cent.

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