GUWAHATI, Aug 2 - Endorsing the appeal made by the Indian Tea Association (ITA) to the government seeking steps to tide over the crisis the tea industry is facing, the Tea Association of India today said all sections of the tea industry in the organized sector, irrespective of size, continue to suffer under severe recessionary spell.
�The industry, therefore, look forward to some proactive steps that can be initiated by the government, actions such as lowering of Provident Fund contribution, a robust push for a minimum reserve price for producers to offset the vagaries of the market,� TAI president Mudit Kumar said.
He said a complete halt to the indiscriminate conversion of land for tea plantation is necessary.
Kumar said this appeal of the tea industry is made for the sake of survival of almost a million direct workers employed in the industry with over four million people who are dependent on the industry.
In an appeal to the government, the ITA, citing the crisis, had appealed to the government to take over the PF contributions for three years, provide funds for generic production of tea and fix a minimum reserve price for tea at the auction on the basis of the cost of production. It had also sought ban on expansion of tea areas for five years.
The ITA is the largest tea planters� body, while TAI, with around 170 gardens in Assam, is the second largest.