Food processors have welcomed the concessions to their industry in the recent federal budget, and have said that they will increase production to take advantage of the exemption from excise duty.

Processed fruit and vegetable production is expected to increase from 900,000 tonnes to 1,240,000 tonnes during 2001.

K P Sarin, executive secretary of the All India Food Processors Association, revealed: “In the wake of the tax concessions the food processing industry has got, it has planned to take a slew of measures including low cost packaging material, own retail channels, better technology and trained manpower to achieve a capacity utilisation of 70% in 2001-02.”