Over 2,400-odd applications seeking financial assistance to set up food processing units are pending with the government for last three years, Parliament was informed on Thursday.
To promote the food processing sector, the government had in 2007-08 Budget announced financial assistance via a scheme for technology upgradation, establishment and modernisation of food processing industries.
"Total number of pending cases (seeking financial help through the scheme) as on November 21 are 2,425," Food Processing Industries Minister Subodh Kant Sahai said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
It may not be possible to define a time frame for clearance of pending applications, as it depends on the availability of funds and other factors like requisite documents, the minister noted.
Since the launch of the scheme, about 2,064 applications have been cleared, according to the data placed before Parliament.
Under the scheme, the government provides grant at 25 per cent of the cost of plant and machinery, and technical civil works subject to a maximum of Rs 50 lakhs (Rs 5 million) in general area.
However, for difficult areas such as Jammu and Kashmir, the grant is 33.33 per cent of the total project costs but a maximum of Rs 75 lakhs (Rs 7.5 million).
In a separate reply, the minister said that the Food Processing Industry Ministry has finalised 'Vision 2015 Document', which envisages tripling the size of the processed food sector by 2015.
At present, there are 25,367 registered food processing units in India with maximum of them situated in Andhra Pradesh (6,402 units) followed by Tamil Nadu (3,736 units) and Maharashtra (2,238 units), he added.