The product group consumer food industry mainly consists of ready-to-eat products or ready-to-cook products such as pasta products, cocoa based products, bakery products and biscuits, beer, wines and potable alcohol, soft drinks etc. Besides, products like starch glucose etc. which are also required for food products are also being looked after in this Division. The soyabean products which have a highly nutritional value are also being promoted and Consumer Products Division looks into this aspect also. It may be mentioned that Government have delicensed almost all food processing industries except for beer, potable alcohol and wines. Automatic approval for foreign investment upto 51% has been introduced practically in all sectors of food processing industries except for those which are reserved exclusively for production in small scale sector, milk products and malted foods.
Some of the important processed food industries are ready-to-eat foods, soya products, cocoa products, high protein foods, soft drinks etc.
Cereal Based Products
Of the cereal based products the major item bread and biscuits are reserved for small scale sector and the present production of bread and biscuits is estimated to be about 10 lakh tonnes each in the country. While about 20% of bread is produced in the organised sector, the remaining 80% is produced in the small scale and unorganised sector. In the case of biscuits, the production in the organised sector is approximately 3.6 lakh tonnes and 6.4 tonnes are being produced in the small scale and unorganised sector. The growth rate in the case of bread is estimated to be about 5% and that of biscuits is 7% in the last year which is likely to be maintained this year.
The production of other cereal based consumer products like corn flakes is approximately 10,000 tonnes per annum and is likely to grow by 4% in the current year.
Considering the importance of protein-rich soya based products, the Government is trying to promote manufacture of these products. Soya based products have been placed in Annexure-III to the Notification No. 477(E) dated 25.7.1991 and the industry is eligible for automatic approval for foreign collaboration involving foreign equity participation upto 51%. There are seven units in the organised sector already manufacturing various soyabean food products.
There are 20 units engaged in the manufacture of cocoa products, like chocolates, drinking chocolates, cocoa butter, cocoa butter substitute and cocoa flavoured malted milk foods with a production of approximately 41,000 tonnes.
100% Export Oriented Units & Foreign Collaborations
While no licence is required for setting up of consumer industries except beer and alcohol, proposals for setting up of 100% EOU require the approval of the Govt. During the period from April 1994 to December 1994 two proposals for setting up of 100% EOUs for the manufacture of Aerated Water and Guar Gum Refined Splits have been approved by the Govt. In Consumer Industries Sector, 3 proposals for foreign collaboration and foreign equity participation have been approved during the period April 1994 to Dec. 1994. The total foreign investment proposed is approximately Rs.3.65 crores.
Potable Alcohol Industries
During the year under report, the Government implemented the policy of manufacture of potable alcohol from non-molasses base. The ban on manufacture of potable alcohol from non-molasses was relaxed in 1988. So far, the Government has issued Letters of Intent to 72 units for creation of fresh capacity for manufacture of potable alcohol from non-molasses raw materials. The total capacity approved is approximately 2.7 lakhs kilo litres per annum. During the year, the Government has also permitted 2 foreign companies to invest in joint venture projects for manufacture of scotch whisky and blended scotch whisky by utilising existing licenced capacity of the Indian joint venture partner. Total foreign investment approved is over Rs.8 crores.
There are 33 units producing beer at present and estimated output is 3.0 lakh kilo litres. Government has granted 124 Letters of Intent in the last 3-1/2 years. An additional capacity of about 6 lakh litres has thus been approved. In addition, 4 cases of 100% EOU have been approved in the last 3-1/2 years with a total capacity of about 50,000 KLs. Government has also permitted foreign investment in beer. Six NRI proposals with 100% foreign equity have also been granted permission to set up beer units. Total foreign investment approved in the beer industry is about Rs.120 crores.