GUWAHATI, Oct 8 - The Department of Commerce of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has made compulsory sale of 50 per cent of the total tea manufactured by a registered tea manufacturer in a calendar year through auction centres. This provision has been legalised through the second amendment to the Tea (Marketing) Control Order (TMCO) � called the Tea (Marketing) Control (Second Amendment) Order, 2015, stated a notification issued by the Department of Commerce.
The notification, issued on October 1, 2015, states: �Every registered tea manufacturer shall, on and from the date of commencement of this
notification, sell not less than 50 per cent of the total tea manufactured in a calendar year through public tea auction centres in India, held under the control or auspices of organisers of tea auction licensed to do so under the provisions of this order.�
Till this amendment, registered tea manufacturers were compelled to sale 70 per cent of the total tea manufactured by them in a calendar year through the auction centres.
The notification has also brought about an important change in the definition of the bought tea leaf factories.
According to the Tea (Marketing) Control Order, 2003 [TMCO 2003], paragraph 2, clause (q) � �Bought leaf tea factory� meant a tea factory which sources not less than two-thirds of its tea leaf requirement from other tea growers during any calendar year for the purpose of manufacture of tea. But the October 1, 2015 notification states � �Bought leaf tea factory� means a tea factory which sources not less than 51 per cent of its tea leaf requirement from other tea growers during any calendar year for the purpose of manufacture of tea.
Bidyananda Barkakoty, chairman of the North Eastern Tea Association (NETA), the organisation of the indigenous tea manufacturers of the NE region, said, �Bringing down the compulsory auction sale from 70 percent to 50 percent will not solve the issues that we have been raising. In a liberalised economy, such compulsions are unwarranted.�
�We still fail to understand when the tea manufacturers are subjected to such compulsions, why the buyers (not only buyers registered under auction centres but all buyers registered under the Tea Board) are not compelled to make 50 per cent of their purchases compulsorily from the auction centres,� he added.