Rs 100 crore package for Darjeeling estates

The Tea Board has proposed a Rs 100-crore relief package for tea estates in the Darjeeling hills, where production has resumed after nearly three months of shutdown due to an agitation for a separate state.

Plucking and other operations at the 87 tea estates in the region had come to a halt after the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s strike call on June 9 demanding a separate state, called Gorkhaland. The growers of Darjeeling tea had sought Rs 325 crore as assistance to prune the overgrown bushes and prepare for production in April. But the demand was not accepted by the board which, on advice based on the Tea Research Association’s survey of the problem, cut it to Rs 100 crore.

The strike, the first time in the history of Darjeeling tea industry, has wiped out almost 70% of the annual tea production.

About Tea Board of India:

The Tea Board is set up under the Tea Act 1953. It has succeeded the Central Tea Board and the Indian Tea Licencing Committee which functioned respectively under the Central Tea Board Act, 1949 and the Indian Tea Control Act, 1938 which were repealed.

The Tea Board is functioning as a statutory body of the Central Government under the Ministry of Commerce.

The Board is constituted of 31 members (including Chairman) drawn from Members of Parliament, tea producers, tea traders, tea brokers, consumers, and representatives of Governments from the principal tea producing states, and trade unions. The Board is reconstituted every three years.

Functions:

The Tea Board India is responsible for the assignment of certification numbers to exports of certain tea merchants. This certification is intended to ensure the teas’ origin, which in turn would reduce the amount of fraudulent labelling on rare teas.

The Tea Board India’s tasks include endorsement of the diverse production and productivity of tea, financial support of research organisations and the monitoring of advances in tea packaging as it relates to health beneficial aspects.

It coordinates research institutes, the tea trade and government bodies, ensuring the technical support of the tea trade in the global industry.

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