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Setting Up/Up-gradation of Quality Control/Food Testing Laboratories

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has introduced a scheme to enhance food safety and public health by ensuring food products comply with both domestic and international standards. This scheme provides financial assistance for procuring laboratory equipment and supporting infrastructure, essential for rigorous testing of food products.

Components of the Scheme

  1. Grant for Laboratory Equipment:

    • General Areas: 50% of the cost.
    • Difficult Areas (North East States, Himalayan States, ITDP Areas): 70% of the cost.
    • Universities/Colleges: 100% of the cost.
  2. Grant for Technical Civil Work & Furniture:

    • Eligible Cost: 2% of the approved equipment cost.
    • Maximum Grant: ₹15 Lakhs or the eligible cost, whichever is lower.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Laboratory Equipment:

    • Institutions involved in food testing and research, such as universities, colleges, and research centers.
    • Food testing laboratories in general and difficult areas.
    • Must demonstrate the necessity and usage plan for the equipment.
  2. Technical Civil Work & Furniture:

    • Necessary for the installation and proper functioning of the laboratory equipment.
    • Includes expenses on structural modifications, furniture, and fixtures specific to the equipment needs.

Application Process

  1. Submission of Proposal:
    • Detailed project report including the list of equipment, cost estimates, and justification.
    • Layout plans for technical civil work and furniture requirements.
  2. Approval Process:
    • Proposals reviewed by an expert committee for technical feasibility and necessity.
    • Sanctioning of grants based on merit and compliance with scheme guidelines.

Detailed Cost Breakdown

  1. Laboratory Equipment Costs:

    • General Areas: 50% grant-in-aid.
    • Difficult Areas: 70% grant-in-aid.
    • Universities/Colleges: 100% grant-in-aid.
    • Example Calculation (On Basic Cost):
      • Equipment Cost: ₹1 Crore.
      • General Area Grant: ₹50 Lakhs.
      • Difficult Area Grant: ₹70 Lakhs.
      • Universities/Colleges Grant: ₹1 Crore.
  2. Technical Civil Work & Furniture (On Basic Cost):

    • Grant Calculation:
      • 2% of Equipment Cost.
      • Maximum of ₹15 Lakhs.
      • Example Calculation:
        • Equipment Cost: ₹1 Crore.
        • Eligible TCW & Furniture Grant: ₹2 Lakhs (since 2% of ₹1 Crore is ₹2 Lakhs which is less than ₹15 Lakhs).

Implementation Plan

  1. Project Initiation:

    • Initial assessment and proposal submission.
    • Approval and sanction of grants.
  2. Procurement & Installation:

    • Purchase of approved laboratory equipment.
    • Execution of technical civil works and installation of furniture.
  3. Operational Phase:

    • Regular food product testing.
    • Compliance with safety standards.
    • Documentation and reporting of testing outcomes.
  4. Monitoring & Evaluation:

    • Periodic review of the laboratory’s performance.
    • Ensuring adherence to the grant utilization guidelines.
    • Auditing and inspection by MoFPI.

Conclusion

This MoFPI scheme aims to strengthen the food safety infrastructure in India by providing financial assistance for laboratory equipment and necessary technical civil work. By supporting institutions in general and difficult areas, as well as educational institutions, the scheme ensures a comprehensive approach to maintaining high food safety standards, thereby protecting public health and enhancing the quality of food exports.

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