Union Food Processing Minister, Harsimrat Kaur Badal written to all or any state chief ministers urging them to providing relief in electricity charges to the industry that facing liquidity crunch due to lockdown. The minister told that the industry has already sought exemption of fixed electricity charges for their cold stores and also power bills to be based upon actual usage. Badal urged all chief ministers to analyze power tariffs and provide suitable relief to the food processing industry.
“The food processing industry ensures a seamless supply of food to consumers. On the opposite hand, the livelihood of lakhs of farmers depends on the uptake of their produce by the industries,” as she told whereas emphasizing the importance of the sector in the overall economy. Because of the COVID related restrictions, Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, several units had to face extended lockdowns with unsold inventories and mounting fixed cost. “The industry needs to be supported by the government to tide over this unprecedented crisis,” as she told in that letter. The minister also told that cold storage infrastructure is one of the critical component of the food processing industry. “The cold stores got to run 24×7 to preserve the stored goods. The compressors can’t be pack up even when the capacity isn’t fully utilized. The movement of perishables to and from cold stores has considerably reduced during the lockdown period and has led to a severe liquidity crunch for the promoters,” as the letter said.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal mentioned the industry representatives have been requested for exemption from levy of fixed charges amid the period of corona virus lockdown. They have demanded that the charges of electricity should be levied on the basis of the actual consumption rather than lump-sum charges. “It is requested that the difficulty of electricity tariff could also be analyzed in sight of the above facts and suitable relief could also be granted to the food processing industry at the earliest,” as Badal told therein letter to the CM.