Speaking at the “Road Show on Promotion of Food Processing Industries in Chhattisgarh”Jointly organized by Government of Chhattisgarh, CSIDC, The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Ernst & Young on 7th July, 2015.Chief Guest Mr. Amar Agarwal, Hon’ble Minister for Commerce & Industries, Government of Chhattisgarh in his special address mentioned that for the development of any state growth of the manufacturing sector is most important. Agriculture and manufacturing sector should be linked and developed jointly to realize more integrated and holistic economic growth and development. He has also mentioned that owing to the geographical proximity of West Bengal; Chhattisgarh is best for investors from West Bengal and especially from Kolkata. The state has already been praised for GSDP growth and financial discipline by RBI. Chhattisgarh has good deposit of minerals and 30% Aluminium of the country along with 27% Steel is produced in Chhattisgarh. The state tops the country in coal production. It is a power surplus state and in next 5 years the state is expected to generate 25000 MW of power. He has added that considering these aspects of the state significant numbers of MoUs have been signed and the state would experience invest worth of more than 1 lakh crore in coming five years from the same. Mr. Subodh Kr Singh, IAS, Secretary, Deptt of Commerce & Industries, Govt of Chhattisgarh commented that Chhattisgarh is the third largest energy consumer among the states of India but still a power surplus state. The state is well connected through roads with all other parts of the country and also planning for Coal and Steel based development of railways. In next four years the state is planning to add 50% more railways to its network. Power tariff is 35% cheaper in the state and that is one big advantage to the prospective investors. The state has significant agricultural surplus that can provide cheap input to agro based industries. The state is expecting to realise more than 2 lakh crore of investment in next 5 years. Chhattisgarh government already has an existing land bank and can make avail ready made land to the interested investors. Above all the pro-business approach of the government is promoting and augmenting the investment scenario of the state. Mr. Sunil Mishra, IFS, Managing Director, Chhattisgarh State Industrial Development Corporation,Government of Chhattisgarh in his address highlighted that Chhattisgarh exports significant portion of its agricultural produce. Rice, horticultural products and other forest products such as medicinal plants are doing good and displaying great future prospect. Still now the state is facing wastage of tomatoes and investment towards tomato processing can create a win-win situation for the farmers and the investors alike. The forthcoming food parks are expected to boost the scenario of the food processing sector. Considering the high volume of fish production of the state; fish processing also might be another business prospect in the state in near future. The state government till now has received 162 Food Processing Proposals and sanctioned 141 among them. Again the government till now has sanctioned Rs. 2796.90 lakhs worth of grants towards Food processing Proposals and the amount of grants received is Rs. 13333.44 lakhs. Mr. Kartikeya Goel, IAS, Director, Department of Commerce & Industries, Govt of Chhattisgarh mentioned that Chhattisgarh Government provides VAT and CST reimbursement up to 150% of fixed capital investment for 10 years. 100% exemption on entry tax for 7 years and Mandi tax exemption of maximum 75% of fixed capital investment for 5 years. Again the state strictly follows a single license system all over the state. 100% exemption of stamp duty, 50% exemption in land premium in land allotment up to 10 years, exemption of electricity duty are some of the pro-business feature of the government’s fiscal policy. Mr. Kaushik Ghosh, Managing Director, ERC also said that business and progress are moving towards the same direction in the concerned state.Mr. Rajesh Agarwal, Director, Crystal Logistics spoke about the business friendliness of the Chhattisgarh government and praised abstinence of red-tapeism in the state. He has expressed his surprise that all the paper works related with a MoU on cold chain was completed in only 90 days.Ms. Sonia Ananad, Senior Manager, Ernst & Young picked up eight positive points regarding ‘Chattisgarh as the preferred business destination’ namely processable surplus, low cost of doing business, availability of skilled workforce, supporting infrastructure, local consumption, nearby markets, import substitution and value capture.Mr. Siddhartha Das, Global Head South East Asia, Ernst & Young summed up the session and mentioned that the Chhattisgarh government is unique regarding its pro-business outlook.Dr. Rajeev Singh, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce offered the vote of thanks. After the investors meets, One to One meeting was held between the Hon’ble Minister for Commerce and Industries, Goverment of Chhatisgarh and several investors from West Bengal which included the following; JVL Agro Proposed to setup Maize processing and Strach Production plant, Elque & Co. Is looking forward for the Pickle, Chutney and Fruit Processing Units specially in tamarind , Pheonix group proposed for Food Processing Machineries manufacturing unit, Nice N Fresh seeked support for IQF Plant for frozen “Food & Vegetables”, Crystal Logistics already signed MOU, Vimta Labs looking forward to setup satellite lab, Jaya Biscuit are willing to setup Biscuits processing unit. This Roadshow has not only created awareness about the Opportunities, Schemes and Support of Government of Chhattisgarh in Food Processing Sector of Chhattisgarh, but also created a platform for the potential investor from West Bengal to explore business potential in Food Processing Sector in rising state of Chhattisgarh.