| Green trade |
Guwahati, Aug. 31: The Golaghat-based North Eastern Tea Association has requested the Tea Board of India to revise the modalities of the price-sharing formula to make it more logical and fair.
The Tea Board had issued a number of directives earlier this month for effective implementation of the price-sharing formula, which has not been effectively implemented because of various reasons. The board had created the formula and laid down wide-ranging guidelines way back in 2004 to ensure remunerative prices to small tea growers as well as a fair returns to bought leaf factories.
In its recent letter to Tea Board chairman M.G.V.K. Bhanu, the association said the proposed monthly minimum benchmark price would go against the price-sharing formula, which had no such provision.
“This would also bring in the issue of a minimum price for made tea as well. Instead, we propose that this be termed an ad hoc price instead of the minimum benchmark price. Of course, the final price would be computed only at the end of the season,” the association’s chairman, Bidyanand Barkakoty, stated in the letter.
The board had stated that the minimum price payable for the month, district-wise, should be determined after taking into account the average price of CTC teas sold during the previous month. For instance, for August, the minimum benchmark price payable would be based on the district average for July. The previous month’s prices would be uploaded in the Tea Board website at the beginning of every month.
“We would like to reiterate that the spirit of the price-sharing formula can be better realised only if the price-sharing is effected on an annual basis as against the monthly basis envisaged in its present form. This change will make the price-sharing more logical and fair to all concerned,” Barkakoty said.
The association represents a large number of bought leaf factories and estate factories and green leaf sellers in Golaghat, Jorhat, Karbi-Anglong and Sonitpur districts.
Cachar deputy commissioner G.M. Hazarika has directed the 64 tea gardens in Cachar district to declare bonus for workers by September 22 and complete disbursement by September 30.
This payment schedule was decided in a tripartite meeting in the deputy commissioner’s office here yesterday afternoon, attended, among others, by representatives of the Barak Valley Cha Sramik Union and the Indian Tea Employees Union and senior officials of two major planter associations.