ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tea: Remedy Worse than Disease?

Remedy Worse than Disease? The Tea Marketing Control Order (TMCO) 2003, which came into effect on January 1, has immediately evoked strong protests from traders, who have boycotted auctions for three weeks running now. The disruption of auctions at all the six centres has thrown tea buying totally out of gear, with Kolkata alone believed to have run up losses of Rs 100 crore. The new order, which replaced TMCO 1984, requires each trader to apply for registration and licensing to the Tea Board and submit fortnightly reports of purchases at auctions and through private trades with details of prices. It also empowers the board to set prices and decide the percentage of made tea procured by traders through auctions. The board will also decide the percentage of tea to be sold by every manufacturer in public auctions every year. The board in turn will seek the approval of the central government for its decisions. The board has also notified several changes in the auction system in a bid to speed up the process and secure better regulation. These include payment settlements within six days of purchase and requiring buyers to be physically present at auctions.

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