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2011-02-09

Poor infrastructure a challenge for MSMEs: Virbhadra Singh

Inadequate infrastructure is a major hurdle for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the food and agriculture sector, said Union Minister for MSMEs Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday. He sought

Inadequate infrastructure is a major hurdle for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the food and agriculture sector, said Union Minister for MSMEs Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday. He sought more private sector investments to help the sector overcome the challenge.

"I recognize that inadequate infrastructure is a major problem faced by this important sector. Expanding public investment is also necessary in building rural on-farm infrastructure like primary processing centers, collection centers, cold chain etc. We should reflect on how best we can increase private sector investment in these areas," Singh said, while addressing the second Food and Agri Exporters Conclave organized by ASSOCHAM in New Delh.

Singh added that the government has introduced a number of supportive policies to meet its goals such as increased focus on agro-based small &medium industries in the trade policy, automatic approval for foreign equity up to 100 percent in food processing units and significant customs duty exemption.

He also highlighted that despite being a major food producer, India's share in world food trade is less than 2 percent. There is very high wastage and low value addition in our country, which further add loss in the business opportunities and farm income as well.

The MSME ministry has implemented various schemes and programmes to enable the micro and small enterprises (MSE) including food processing industry to enable them to complete in the global market and strengthen their export competitiveness, the minister added.

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