New Delhi: Speaking to NewsX in an exclusive interview, Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal addressed the issue of India's quest for a 100% FDI multi-brand retail, elections in Punjab and about the controversial declassification of Operation Blue Star files.
Asked about the progressive changes which the government had introduced in the food processing ministry, Badal said that more perishables were needlessly being wasted and that food processing should be promoted. She claimed that India was lining herself up with the international norms of food safety standards and expressed her criticism about the 'ancient' equipments and techniques being deployed still now for the testing of food. The minister shared the fact that 100% of Foreign Direct Investment will be utilised so that 100% of the food will be manufactured in India.
Speaking on her ‘defence’ of Maggi, Badal said that it was unfair for big established brands to be tested by the FSSAI with atavistic methods which would result in different reports on products from different sections. "We have to introduce a protocol where a company could see the procedure through which their products are being tested," Badal said.
Asked about commercial breads being laced with harmful chemicals, the minister said, "The amount of chemicals allowed was accepted by the FSSAI until we started aligning ourselves with the international standards.”
On the Aam Aadmi Party contesting elections in Punjab, Badal said that it was absurd what CM Arvind Kejriwal was aiming at. She confessed that Congress was the real party which would make the elections contentious. "Our fight has always been with the Congress," the minister said.
On the menace of imported drugs slithering through the border into Punjab, Badal said that a poorly-equipped BSF was responsible for the influx of drugs and of terrorists. She advocated the fact that new technology should be integrated at the border to ensure that security is pumped up.
When asked about the declassification of Operation Blue Star files of which she was a staunch advocate, she exclaimed how Congress, under Indira Gandhi, had deployed a sponsored massacre of Punjab in 1984. She added that the officials who were guilty of carrying out this wide massacre of people today enjoyed high governmental positions and were also being shielded.