| On a high note
New Delhi, May 19: Egged on by a powerful tea maker’s lobby, the government has cleared a Rs 104 crore ad blitz to sell Indian tea as a generic brand in the overseas market. Moreover, the government has decided that to resurrect the declining tea export of India, the Tea Board need not pay the dividend it traditionally paid to the government. Instead the government has conceded that the corpus can be utilised for tea promotion.
A series of high-decibel tea promotion campaigns is expected given the quantum allocated for the purpose of market promotion. Advertising agencies can hope for a plum account if they can brew up the right pitch.
A meeting was recently held under the chairmanship of expenditure secretary D. C. Gupta, in the presence of representation from the Planning Commission, commerce ministry and the Tea Board which is an apex organisation that seeks to protect the interests of the tea industry.
India’s share of the global tea export market has declined from 18.7 per cent in 1991 to 15.4 per cent in 2000, according to a study carried out by consultants at the behest of the Tea Board as well as the department of commerce.
The Tea Board is going to spend a sum of Rs 350 crore during the Tenth Plan period (2002-07) for its schemes like tea plantation and development, market promotion, quality upgradation and product diversification.
The department of commerce has forwarded a separate draft to the expenditure finance committee (EFC) spelling out the details of the expenditure plan.
As per the Tenth Plan outlay (2002-07) for the Tea Board, the tea plantation development scheme will amount for Rs 109.34 crore, market promotion scheme will account for Rs 104.65 crore and quality upgradation and product diversification scheme will amount for Rs 60 crore. The balance Rs 76.01 crore is to be allocated in other schemes.
The department of commerce has also forwarded a proposal for continuing the existing scheme under the name ‘revolving corpus for loan scheme’ which would be operated under non-plan.