KERALASI: New Indian food brands will have to pay higher prices in India to compete with western-made products, a top official of the government said on Wednesday.
Speaking to The Hindu, Nimal Agarwal, Secretary of State for Food and Public Distribution, said a new regulation would be introduced in March.
“Our government has decided to introduce a new regime in the country that will impose higher price on imported and domestic brands,” he said.
“The new price will be based on the amount of food produced per unit of cost.
It will not be based solely on price of the ingredients.
It may also be based upon other factors such as the quality of the products or the quantity of the foodstuffs being produced,” he added.
Agarwal added that this would be implemented in a phased manner to ensure that products are produced in a cost-effective manner.
“We are working on a model that will give a higher price to all foodstuff products.
We are also working on an option that would allow consumers to purchase domestic products as well,” he told The Hindu.
While the current model has been adopted by several states, the new scheme will not apply to all states.
However, he said the new pricing mechanism was to be applied across the country.
“We have a national framework to impose a price.
We have to follow it across the entire country,” he explained.
In a separate development, Keralite Chief Minister Kalyan Singh has directed the Centre to prepare an interim report on how to address a rise in COVID-19 deaths among his state’s youth.
He said in the first few days of the new year, he will convene a meeting of the state government’s youth committee, to review the current situation and identify ways to improve health.
“This is the first step in the process to implement our emergency measures to protect our children,” he tweeted.
Agarwal said the government had made a number of recommendations for addressing the crisis, including raising awareness among youths of the importance of taking care of one’s health, and encouraging them to take part in social activities.