NETA seeks sops for region’s tea producers

GUWAHATI: Leading tea producers’ association, the North Eastern Tea Association (NETA), submitted a memorandum to Union finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman here on Thursday, seeking a special incentive for tea producers in the Northeast to export teas under the Act East Policy, a bailout package for the industry and a special fund for generic promotion of tea in the domestic market.
The association suggested that the special incentive could be for ‘producer exporter’ so that tea producers are encouraged to export their own produce.
“Our Prime Minister is very serious about the Act East Policy and therefore we should put our efforts in exporting teas to ASEAN countries.”
“Compared to other industries of Assam, tea is a ‘ready industry’ for exporting its produce to East and South East Asian nations,” NETA adviser Bidyananda Barkakoty, stated in the memorandum.
NETA, while seeking a bailout package for the tea industry, stated that the tea industry is facing a precarious financial problem.
“Almost all the organised tea gardens with extensive permanent labour force, falling yields, stagnant prices and rapid increase in the input costs have made this entire industry a totally non-viable business proposition,” it said.
The association sought a 4 per cent interest subvention on the outstanding working capital loan availed from banks for a period of five years.

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