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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Panel set up by Mamata Banerjee-government to address concerns of Bengal tea industry

The GoM, headed by labour minister Malay Ghatak, is going to invite representatives from the industry to take feedback in order to come up with a resolution to the issues

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 11.01.24, 11:45 AM
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The group of ministers set up by the Mamata Banerjee-government on tea is going to look into pricing, productivity and quality issues that the industry is facing in Bengal.

The GoM, headed by labour minister Malay Ghatak, is going to invite representatives from the industry to take feedback in order to come up with a resolution to the issues.

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Industry minister Shanshi Panja and parliamentary affairs minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay are also the members of GoM.

“Very recently a group of ministers was set up for tea which was not there earlier. A lot of issues which are being raised in general about pricing, quality, these are getting discussed there. I am very hopeful that very soon we will be organising interaction with the stakeholder also and where the government can intervene or help in this,” Smaraki Mahapatra, land and land reforms secretary, said.

Mahapatra, an invitee to the GoM to assist the panel, was addressing the biennial conference of the Tea Association of India in Calcutta.

Ajay Jalan, president of the TAI, said the situation in the industry was so dire that “we fear a lack of future interest in the industry”.

Jalan enumerated three factors that led to the decline in the sector. Demand supply mismatch with production of crops running ahead of demand, skewed market dynamics where a handful of buyers dominate and quality concerns are the issues plaguing the industry.

Jalan said there should be early closure of gardens and regulation of tea waste to counter oversupply and quality issues. He also pitched for restricting poor quality teas being imported to India.

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