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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Assam Tea producers cry for survival

IBN Live
PTI | 05:02 PM,Feb 26,2012 Guwahati, Feb 26 (PTI) Three Assam tea producers' Associations have submitted a memorandum to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce urging it to take immediate measures to ensure the survival of Assam's tea industry. A joint forum of Assam Tea Planters' Association (ATPA), North Eastern Tea Association (NETA) and Bharatiya Cha Parishad (BCP) pointed out that the industry was passing through a period of stagnancy. Stating these, NETA Chairman Bidyananda Barkakoty said here today that the average price of CTC tea in Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC) from April 1, 2011 to January 31 2012 was lower by Rs 4.41 compared to that of the same period in 2010-11. Rise in cost of key inputs such as fertilizers, coal, fuel, gas and electricity have made the task of containing the cost of production difficult. "If logical steps are not taken immediately to address policy bottlenecks in the primary markets/auctions, there is every possibility that soon the industry will be gasping for survival," he said. The Planters' Associations have also called for immediate auction reforms and urged for a robust electronic auction for fair price. "Unlike other tea growing areas/states, tea is a major industry of Assam and therefore sustained viability of the tea industry is vital for the local economy," he added.

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