(MENAFN- KNN India)
Union Budget fails to address challenges faced by Tea Industry
Kolkata, Feb 3 (KNN) The Tea industry are disappointed with the Union Budget 2023-24 as the central government has failed to address the major challenges faced by the sector.
Expressing his disappointment, Darjeeling Tea Association (DTA)'s principal advisor S. Mukherjee said that the tea sector was probably the only industrial segment which was not spared even a word as regards to any industry stimulation package or subsidy.
He pointed out that even the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Commerce & Industry for a one-time package for the revival of the tea sector in Darjeeling were ignored.
“ The long standing demand of the planters, especially those from the Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars region regarding the hike in the import duty on tea from Nepal was also neglected,” Director (operations & plantations) of Chamong Tea, Indranil Ghosh said.
Ghosh pointed out that a number of bought-leaf factories are importing tea from Nepal and selling them in the market. This is possible because the production cost of tea in Nepal is one-third of that in India.
However, this issue was not at all addressed in the Budget speech on Wednesday,” said Ghosh.
According to veteran tea industry observer Nandini Goswami, another long-standing demand from the sector was that the Union government should implement an effective police mechanism to restrict circulation of spurious Darjeeling tea in the market.
“However, to my surprise the Budget speech was totally silent on this issue,” she said.
She also pointed out the ultimate effect of the ailing nature of the Indian tea sector on the plantation workers, especially those associated with the smaller tea gardens.
Goswami highlighted that the Tea industry for a long time has been pushing for agricultural farmer's status for small planters and agricultural workers for the workers employed in smaller tea gardens. The Union Budget also failed to address this issue.
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