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Nestle to invest Rs 250 crore on expansion of Punjab milk plant

CHANDIGARH: Dairy major Nestle India today said it will invest Rs 250 crore on expansion and modernisation of its existing milk plant at Moga in Punjab. 

In his meeting with Punjab Chief Minister
Parkash Singh Badal here, Nestle India LtdBSE 1.85 % Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) Antonio Helio Waszyk said the company had made investment of Rs 9,500 crore in the country, according to an official statement. 

He added that Nestle had already invested nearly Rs 250 crore and the balance Rs 250 crore would be invested for technological upgradation, expansion and modernisation of its Moga plant over a period of next two years.

Badal said the meeting with Waszyk would put all the rumours of winding up its unit from Punjab which was spread by opposition party, at rest. 

Waszyk said the company had launched its first unit in 1961 at Moga and termed it as 'Jewel in Crown' of their investments across the globe. 

He said: "It is a plant in Punjab run by Punjabis, which is evident from the fact that out of total work force of 25,000 employees, 90 per cent are Punjabis. Likewise, Nestle purchases raw material worth Rs 650-700 crore from Punjab annually." 

At present, the company was procuring milk from as many as 1,10,000 dairy farmers across the state. 

Waszyk further said Nestle was fortunate to launch its operation from Moga which proved to be a gateway for their entry in India at eight different locations. 

Waszyk also responded positively to the proposals of the Chief Minister to set up a State-of-the-art composite dairy centre in collaboration with Punjab government comprising a super speciality veterinary hospital, model dairy farm, a breeding centre and a training facility for the dairy entrepreneurs in the state. 

The state government would work out the modalities for arranging suitable Panchayat or government land in some village near Moga for setting up of this composite dairy centre. 

On the persuasion of Chief Minister, Waszyk agreed in principle to upgrade 3-4 existing private dairy farms to demonstrate modern dairy practices, which would prove to be a beacon for the young dairy entrepreneurs to adopt dairy as an allied farming, the release said. 

Waszyk also apprised the Chief Minister about the Community Shared Value (CSV) programme run by the Nestle to sensitise girls about personal hygiene. 

Winding up the deliberations, the Chief Minister assured the visiting Nestle team that the Punjab government would extend all possible cooperation and support to fructify their investment plans in the near future. 

On the issue of exemption of purchase tax on the procurement of milk, Badal assured to get this issue thoroughly examined from the state Excise and Taxation Commissioner. 

He added that interests of all the stakeholders, including dairy farmers, procurement agencies and state government, would be safeguarded while resolving this issue. 

Highly appreciating the commendable work done by Nestle as a water resources group in the world for the conservation of ground water, the Chief Minister invited Nestle's water expert Asit K Biswas for seeking his expertise to address the problem of depleting water table in Punjab. 

Biswas had already done marvelous work in the field of preservation of ground water in several countries in China, Vitanam and Gujrat in India.