India's ice cream industry growing at annual rate of 20% annually, but duties levied by central government too high, industry officials say

AHMEDABAD, India , September 23, 2013 () – The Indian ice cream industry is growing at an annual rate of 20 per cent annually but the duties levied by central government are too high, it was said by industry experts during the Indian Ice Cream Congress & Expo (IICE) 2013 held in Ahmedabad on Friday. Around 400 delegates from across the country participated in the event.

The third edition of IICE was held in the city where MD of Vadilal Ice Creams and president of Indian Ice Cream Manufactures Association (IICMA) Rajesh Gandhi informed that ice cream industry in the country is growing at a fast rate. The expo had earlier been held in New Delhi (2011) and Hyderabad (2012).

He also informed that IICMA has taken several delegations to New Delhi in various ministries for reduction of excise duty, weights and measures issues and most importantly coordination with FSSAI - Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Since its inception a couple of years ago, IICMA has been actively interacting with the government.

Major participants of the expo were Blustar, Rinac Delta Nutritives, WCB Ice Creams from USA, Tetra Pak, DP Chocolate, Techno Ice from Italy, Morde, Prova from France, Unique Equipments, VKC Nuts, SPX, Transfreez and many more.

Sudhir Shah, IICMA secretary, said that this year ice-Cream industry invested a lot of capital in creating new factories and upgradation of technologies in the existing facilities.

Gujarat and especially Ahmedabad is considered the capital of ice creams in India. Gujarat and Delhi together account for 30% of the country's Rs3,000-crore ice cream market that is expected to double by 2014-15.

Shah informed that almost 35% of the ice creams sold in the country are consumed in the western region with Ahmedabad being the main market, followed by 30% in the north, 20% in the south and 15% in the eastern and central India.

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Credit:dna correspondent

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