NEW DELHI, Nov 6 - The notification of the Tea (Marketing) Control Amendment Order (TMCO), 2015 by the Commerce and Industry Ministry, making it mandatory to sell 70 per cent of tea through the auction route, has made the tea buyers see red.
The Ministry of Commerce had issued a notification in May stating that 70 per cent of the annual tea produced has to be mandatorily sold through auctions.
Stating that the small tea growers may be affected due to the Tea Marketing Control (Amendment) Order 2015, Western India Tea Dealer�s Association (WITDA) president and chairman and managing director of Wagh Bakri Tea Group, Piyush Desai said that the Commerce and Industry Ministry�s notification has been widely criticised by various stake holders of tea industry.
�With our Prime Minister Narendra Modi having a tea background, it is necessary that the interests of the tea industry are taken care of and an amicable solution is brought for various issues faced by the tea industry,� Desai told newsmen.
Replying to questions, the veteran tea buyer, who sources 80 per cent of requirement of tea from Assam, Desai said that lack of infrastructure in and around the auction centres � in Guwahati, Siliguri and Kolkata � was one of the main hurdles for the buyers to take the auction route to source 70 per cent of their requirement.
�We don�t mind abiding by the notification, but the problem is that there no infrastructure in place. The entry of small tea growers has resulted in an increase in the volume of trade in the auction centres,� he said.
Desai added that the move to scrap tea permit for cultivation may also prove to be disastrous. The purity standards of tea will be significantly affected if the Government of India goes ahead with the move to scrap tea permit required for tea cultivation, he said.
Recently, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, RR Rashmi had stated while addressing the AGM of the Tea Research Association (TRA) at Kolkata that a person or a company wishing to start tea cultivation may no longer need to approach the Tea Board of India for permission as the government intends to amend the Tea Act 1953 for this purpose.
Urging the Centre to rethink on the decision for the sustainability of the tea industry, the WITDA president said that since last many years the Tea Buyers� Associations has been requesting various authorities that only certified and well trained people should be allowed to cultivate tea. It was also requested that Assam University start some sort of a Degree course on tea cultivation, so that only qualified tea producers are made available in big numbers for the industry.
Regarding the small tea growers, he said that only those farmers should be allowed to cultivate tea who have six months to one year of training in tea cultivation, once started by the Tea Board.tempt on Rajan�s life when Dawood�s men tracked him down to a hotel in Bangkok but he managed a dramatic escape by jumping from the first floor of the hotel.
Rajan had fled India in 1988 for Dubai. � PTI