GUWAHATI, Feb 28 � Conscious circles here have expressed serious concern over the way large consignments of Assam tea are landing at the West Bengal tea auction centres, causing a huge loss to the State exchequer.
Official figures have it that Assam produced about 618 million kgs of tea in 2013, against the 315 million kgs produced by West Bengal.
Against the 315 million kgs of tea it produced, West Bengal has three tea auction centres at Kolkata, Siliguri and Jalpaiguri.
In 2013, Kolkata and Siliguri tea auction centres together sold about 270 million kgs of tea, against the 163 million kgs of tea sold in GTAC.
Again, against the 174 million kgs of tea produced by Tamil Nadu, this South Indian State has three tea auction centres � two in Coonoor and one in Coimbatore. And against the 62 million kgs of tea produced by Kerala, it has one auction centre at Kochi.
Despite Assam producing around 52 per cent of the around 1,200 million kgs of tea produced by the country in 2013, it has only the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC).
Considering this scenario, it has become imperative for the Government of Assam, the Assam tea industry and the Tea Board to think whether to have more auction centres in Assam so that the tea produced in the State are sold through the auction centres in Assam, said the circles.
It is pertinent to mention here that the five districts of Upper Assam � Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia � produce more than 400 million kgs of tea annually.