Saturday, October 18, 2014


It is difficult to decide whether one has to cry or laugh when grandstand statements are made by new ministers in new governments, repeating the same made by many of her predecessors which really means nothing but an empty talk. Neither the minister nor the those who listen to her believe a word of what they say or hear. It is nothing but a charade which has been going on for the last 5 decades in this country without any thing happening at the ground level. The present minister in the highly redundant and irrelevant ministry of food processing industry who must not have been born when the "40% food waste" story was invented by some one which was being repeated ad nauseum by every "tom dick and harry", the last heard being from our erstwhile "silent" prime minister last year. Funnily there is not even an iota of data derived by scientific studies to make such inane statements and it is like a "recorded tape" stored some where in the dusty office of the ministry being made available to every new unfortunate minister who is allotted this portfolio, to speak whenever and where ever there is a seminar, workshop or meeting for inauguration or press briefings! It is the turn of this new young minister to "speak" these words of "wisdom" in a seminar of no consequence recently! Here it is.

Our government is currently working on the National Food Processing Policy to reduce wastage of perishables and improve the supply situation. Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal recommends that agriculture credit should also be connected with food processing sector as the ultimate beneficiary is the farmer. "There is an urgent need of some integrated policy for the food processing sector. We are working on it with the purpose of reducing the wastage of perishable fruits and vegetables so that we can bring down the inflation," the Minister said. She was speaking at the National Cold Chain Summit organized by CII jointly with Ministry of Food Processing Industries and Ministry of Agriculture and National Centre for Cold Chain Development (NCCD).
Some of the stock words like "reduce wastage", "supply situation", "perishable", "agricultural credit", "cold chain", "integrated policy" etc will always appear in such statements whether the minister understands the nuances of such words! Government does not realize that food industry is capable of developing it self if it does not interfere or puts road block in working smoothly with least control at every level. Of course the Government has a duty to provide infrastructures support for any industry worth the name and facilitatory policies for sustainable growth. Last year this country had to "invite" foreign companies through the FDI incentive for "helping" our farmers without realizing that the MNCs are least interested in the well being either the farmer or the consumer! Probably it is time that the glorified MoFPI is wound up soon for which no one in this country will shed tears!  


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