Kolkata, July 28 (IANS) ITC Ltd, which aspires to register a revenue of Rs 1 lakh crore from the new FMCG businesses by 2030, said on Friday the “tax structure” on processed food products “does not treat them as providing impetus to the agriculture economy”.
“Unfortunately, there seems to be a view that packaged branded food products are a source of elitist consumption. Therefore, the tax structure does not treat them as providing impetus to the agricultural economy,” ITC Chairman Y.C. Deveshwar told shareholders at the 106th annual general meeting here.
He also said the current levels of processing of less than 10 per cent is way behind that of major food producing countries.
“Given the tremendous potential of the food processing industry to transform the future of the agricultural sector and create jobs, it is critical that this sector is allowed to grow faster with strong policy impetus,” he said.
The tax incidence on food processing must be viewed from the perspective that it adds tremendous value to farmers and helps in ameliorating huge agri-wastage, Deveshwar said.
He also said the company has decided to foray into fruits, vegetables and other perishable segments and investments are underway to climate-controlled infrastructure for an efficient supply chain to unlock the potential latent in this area.
Deveshwar said that around 20 integrated consumer goods manufacturing and logistics facilities were under various stages of development.
He said agro-forestry sector, as a source of raw material for wood-based industry, is “woefully constrained by policies that not only prevent job creation in India but promote avoidable imports”.
“India currently imports significant part of its demand for wood and wood based products, given a regime of near zero import duties. Taken together with a policy framework that does not permit corporate farming, it leaves the hapless farmer to compete with automated farms overseas,” he said.