Companies & Sectors
Fill infrastructural gaps hampering food processing in India: Assocham
With just over two per cent of annual production processed, industry body Assocham on Thursday urged the Centre to fill infrastructural gaps to improve growth of the food processing sector in India.
 
"Just over two per cent of annual production is processed in India, an abysmally low figure when compared to countries like Malaysia, the US and China, where around 83 per cent, 65 per cent and 23 per cent of produce, respectively, is processed," said Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat.
 
The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India asked the government to fill up gaps in its infrastructure availability, create awareness and improve efficiency of value chain that were hampering the growth of the sector.
 
It said the inefficiencies in supply chain, absence of economies of scale, technology up-gradation and quality issues were certain key challenges hindering India's Rs six lakh crore worth food processing industry.
 
Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal also held a meeting with various stakeholders on Thursday in an effort to identify the obstacles in business in the sector. 
 
"There is a need to lure more investments in infrastructure to bring in more organised sector investments into food processing as currently unorganised sector forms major part with a share of about 42 per cent," Rawat said. 
 
Growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 10 per cent India's food processing industry accounts for almost 32 per cent of total food market and contributes nine to ten per cent to gross domestic product (GDP) in agriculture and manufacturing sector, ranking fifth in terms of production, consumption and exports.
 
Grains processing occupies maximum share in food processing sector accounting for 40 per cent of the industry size followed by horticulture and oil seed processing.
 
The industry body listed various challenges faced by the food processing sector including proliferation of unorganised players leading to a constraint in achieving economies of scale to increase output. 
 
It also pointed out that the sector lacked necessary monitoring mechanisms to implement quality norms.
 
Assocham proposed augmenting knowledge and skill levels of the workforce -- youth in particular, which is essential to enhance resource productivity. Besides, boosting innovation, managing finance, mitigating risks and improving decision making ability. 
 
It also suggested that the government should introduce measures like targeted training programs for different segments of food processing industry and effective use of synergy between public private partnerships including universities to promote the food processing sector.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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TRAI call for broadcast, cable tariff right step: Analysts
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) proposal for the broadcasting and cable services tariff is a step in the right direction, say analysts but feel some issues still need to be clarified.
 
The TRAI has floated a consultation paper on the draft Telecommunication (Broadcasting and Cable Services) (Eighth) (Addressable Systems) Tariff Order, 2016. Written comments on the draft are invited from the stakeholders by October 24, 2016.
 
The key points in the draft say every broadcaster should declare the nature of each channel as ‘free to air' or ‘pay' for different geographical areas; broadcaster can offer pay channels in the form of bouquet(s) and on a-la-carte basis. Price declaration should be as mentioned.
 
The paper said television households should pay Rs 130 as monthly rental per set-top box for 100 standard definition channels. 
 
Regulator has proposed a genre-wise ceiling on channel prices. And finally it has said distributors of television channels can form bouquets from la-carte channels of broadcasters. 
 
"While we consider the recommendations to be a step in right direction, we do note that there are still some issues which need to be clarified," stated a report by investment banker Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
 
It said categories are not clearly defined. In general entertainment channel, it is general or premium but nothing for regional or niche like English channels. 
 
"As digitisation is still not complete, it is not clear what each consumer is subscribing to and how much is being paid; educating the consumer on this new pricing and various options being available would not be easy and time consuming; any stakeholder not happy with the rules could take these in court where a stay could come."
 
Kotak Institutional Equities said TRAI prescribed price caps for genres look reasonable. 
 
"We expect broadcasters to set the market retail price (MRP) of most of the pay channels below price cap for optimum subscription revenues. In any case, broadcasters also have an option to declare a channel premium and set MRP that exceeds price cap."
 
A key objective of the proposed tariff structure is to protect consumer interest.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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