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Know Your Minister | Harsimrat Kaur Badal - Food Processing Ministry

She is the only member from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) who made it to Narendra Modi's cabinet. She has retained her portfolio of Food Processing ministry.

May 31, 2019 / 03:15 PM IST

The only member from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) who made it to Narendra Modi's cabinet is Harsimrat Kaur Badal. She has retained her portfolio of Food Processing ministry.

The sector enjoys 100 percent FDI in setting up of manufacturing unit. There is no permission required for wholesale business in the sector. In 2016, the Centre also allowed 100 percent FDI through approval route for retail trading, including through e-commerce, in respect of food products manufactured and produced in India. In 2019, Kaur expects FDI in her sector to cross $28 billion.

The yearly event World Food India is organised by her ministry to attract investment proposals from across the globe. Her work also focuses on cold storage chains and food preservation. In terms of financing the needs of the sector, Kaur set up a NABARD fund and got food processing units classified as agricultural lending under priority sector.

Kaur is married to SAD president and former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and is the daughter-in-law of former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal. She has two daughters and a son.

Born and brought up in New Delhi, Kaur has a diploma in textile design. The Lok Sabha elections held in 2009 marked the beginning of her political career when she defeated INC candidate Raninder Singh (Captain Amarinder Singh's son) by a huge margin of 1.2 lakh votes while contesting from Bhatinda. In 2014, she defeated her husband's cousin Manpreet Badal from INC and was re-elected in 2019 from the same constituency.

Her social initiatives include Nanhi Chhaan, a campaign to fight female infanticide. The project also forms Self Help Groups (SHGs) for women to aid setting up of small businesses for them. The initiative called Saanjh boasts of hundreds of textiles training centres for girls from rural Punjab, where they are trained in traditional embroidery art 'Phulkari' and 'Durry' making. Kaur also helped establish All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bathinda.
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