Industries and Commerce Minister talks
tough on Assam tea sale.
DIBRUGARH, Oct 30 - Industries and Commerce Minister Pradyut Bordoloi
today said that all tea manufacturers within Assam should sell a major
share of their produce through the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC)
or be prepared to forfeit subsidies, exemptions and other benefits
from the State Government.
Bordoloi said Assam was losing revenue worth several crores of rupees annually because tea companies and majority of the bought leaf tea factories in the state were directly selling their produce in Kolkata, Mumbai and other cities. The minister while addressing media persons at Gymkhana Club here in the backdrop of a meeting of the All Assam Bought Leaf Tea Manufacturer's Association, All India Manufacturers' Organisation (tea division) and GTAC core committee members, said the Assam Government would not allow tea manufacturers to bypass the GTAC.
It needs to be mentioned here that only 27.5 per cent of the total tea produced in the state is sold through the GTAC. Assam produces about 580 million kilograms of tea annually, of which only 160 million kilograms get sold through the GTAC. Tea companies of the organized sector almost avoid going through the GTAC.
Bordoloi said that when Assam land is being used for the tea production and since manufacturers are being given subsidies and other benefits by the State Government, Assam deserves some revenue, which other states get when tea is sold in their cities. "We will also not tolerate private sale of the manufactured tea," Bordoloi stated, adding that they had realized about the revenue loss recently.
During the meeting held among the tea manufacturers, the core committee members of the GTAC strategy group, including the minister, who is also the chairman of the GTAC, sought to interact with the tea planters and manufacturers to know why majority of them were avoiding the tea auction centre.
Members from the planters' and manufacturer's fraternity told the core committee members that the GTAC lacked adequate infrastructure and space for handling the stock. They said the Kolkata auction centre offered better prices than the GTAC.
Courtesy: Press release.