Shimla: Government own fruit processing company HPMC plans to set up small juice concentrate plants in the growing areas and in a bid to revive its businesses has procured an order for supply of 600 metric tons of apple juice concentrate from Parle group.
Horticulture minister Narinder Bragta, who is the chairman of HPMC said, to revive the businesses of the public sector undertaking, the company had entered into a supply order agreement with Parle group. The 600 MT order is worth about Rs 6 crore, he said.
Talking about the functioning of the public sector company he said that HPMC did had made an operational profit of Rs 2 crore in 2003 but was again in the red and had a load of Rs 37 crores as accumulated losses. The annual turnover of HPMC too had come down to Rs 22 crore, he added.
However, he said, the government would make efforts to revive the public sector undertaking. “At a board meeting on Monday, it was decided to set up three juice extraction and concentrate plants with the apple growing areas,” said Bragta, who is the chairman of HPMC.
The three plants would be set up in Jarol, Gumma and Rohru. This would not only help us to save on transporting raw materials to the Parwanoo but would also minimize damages suffered from delayed crushing of the fruit, he said.
As part of a administrative restructuring, he disclosed that the regional office of HPMC would be shifted from Shimla to Gumma for better coordination with operations where the main businesses of the company are located.
In response to another question about Champagne Indage not having begun making wines from local fruits at Pragati Nagar winery in Kothkai, he said that the terms of the agreement with company from being a joint venture with growers, HPMC and the government as partners, it had been changed to sole proprietorship of the company by the previous government.
Against the terms agreed to of crushing 27000 metric tons of apples, the company was only using the winery for rebottling of grape wines that were being brought in from Mahrashtra, he said.
To another question, the minister said that the state had so far marketed 1.80 crore boxes of apples and expected the production to touch a target of 2.25 crore boxes for the season.