Guwahati: Tea planter have sought 90 percent subsidy on installation of solar plants in tea industry from Union ministry of Commerce and Industry.
On Wednesday Union ministry of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal will hold stakeholders meeting with representatives of tea industry at New Delhi.
Tea planters body North Eastern Tea Association (NETA)in a memorandum to the government stated, “Energy consumption constitutes one of the major costs of tea production. The Power Tariff for the tea industry is distinctly categorized and is rather high. We request the Government to subsidize Power Tariff to the tea industry by half for at least a period of five years”.
NETA adviser, Bidyananda Barkakoty said, “The Government may please allow 90% subsidy on installation of solar plants in tea industry, as is being done in case of educational institutions etc. This will not only encourage the industry to produce energy required by them but will also enable them to sell additional energy and generate revenue. All Tea estates have wasteland, not suitable for agricultural activity. This fallow land can be utilized to install Solar Photo Voltaic Panels and generate solar power.”
NETA stated, “We hereby urge the Government to consider paying Employers’ share of contribution to Provident Fund payable to the workers by the industry, at least for a period of three years. Auctions have historically been the primary channel for sale of tea. However, the cost involved in transportation, warehousing, brokerage etc. makes it one of the major components of cost for the industry. We would plead the Government to subsidize this cost to the extent possible.”
The body sought enhancement of of incentive for orthodox teas from Rs.3/- to Rs.20/- per kg and fixing minimum price for green leaf be fixed – for North India and South India .
NETA has requested for Generic promotion of tea. “India is the largest producer and largest consumer of black tea in the world. Tea board has recently engaged M/S. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India to do a study on “Domestic Consumption of Tea in India” and as per the Deloitte report of June 2018 – “Apparent Annual per capita consumption of tea in India stands at 0.78 kg. per person in comparison to other countries in the world, Turkey (3.2 Kg), Morocco (1.86 Kg), UK (1.58 Kg) and even neighboring countries like Pakistan (0.81 Kg) and China (1.31 Kg)”.
The body added, “There is every possibility that the per capita consumption of tea can go up by way of generic promotion of tea in domestic market. If we can increase the per capita consumption of tea in India by another 70 gms then 50% of the challenges faced by the Indian tea industry will be over.