GUWAHATI, March 1 � Private mode of selling prevalent in the tea auction centres at Kolkata and Guwahati is violative of the Tea Marketing Control Order (TMCO), 2003. Tea industry sources said the Controller of Licensing in its latest directive (Letter No. 12(27)/LC/BM/2013/4943, Dated 12-02-2014) asked the country�s tea auction centres to refrain from selling tea privately within the auction centre premises.
The Controller of Licensing has referred, in this connection, to clause 2 (j) of the TMCO, which defines the auction organiser as � �anyone including any person, corporate body, co-operative society or association, whether registered or not under whose control or auspices public auctions of tea take place.�
While the �auction mode� of sale is the sale done through public auctioning, �private mode� of sale is a one-to-one deal.
Significantly, at the Sliliguri tea auction centre only public auctioning is practised, while at Kolkata and Guwahati, sales through both auction and private modes are prevalent.
In 2013, the Kolkata tea auction centre sold about 14 million kg of tea, which is 8 per cent of its total sales of 170 million kg, through the private mode. The Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) sold about 36 million kg of tea, which is 22 per cent of its total sales of 163 million kg, through this mode in the same year.
Since the big multinational buyers, who are concerned about business ethics, have come to know that buying through private mode is violation of TMCO, therefore in future they will certainly refrain from buying through this mode, said tea industry sources.