Guwahati, Nov 24 (UNI) The India International Tea Convention (IITC), 2007, concluded here today after three days of deliberations and discussions on sustained and balanced growth of the tea industry worldwide.
The participants also resolved to formulate a roadmap for taking the industry ahead and carry forward the issues raised in the convention in future discussions.
More than 500 delegates, including 49 foreign delegates from 20 countries, participated in the convention, organised by the Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations, Tea Board of India, various tea producers and promoters' bodies and supported by the Union Commerce Ministry.
Addressing the closing ceremony, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath lauded the efforts of the organisers in bringing tea producing nations together to chalk out strategies for the tea industry's growth and development.
Focussing on the changing global challenges the tea industry was currently facing, he said, ''The past is no model for the future.
The tea industry has to simulate the future and adapt to the changing global patterns.'' Mr Nath underscored the tea industry's vast economic dimensions and its influence in the social life, including employment generation and fighting global warming, among others.
He maintained that the greatest strength of the Indian tea industry was its ability to ''adapt, adopt and be innovative and creative.'' The Union Minister also promised the Centre's support to the tea industry and said, ''We will reach out to you (tea industry) but you have to lead the way.'' Earlier, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi informed that the agriculture tax exemption on made tea handled from ICD, Amingaon in Guwahati, had been increased from 50 paisa per kg to Re one per kg.
Moreover, the reduction of stamp duty from previous 16 per cent to six per cent (five per cent in case of women) would also benefit the tea gardens, he added.
The IITC, 2007, saw discussions on topics ranging from Indian tea and its markets, with focus on Assam, to global sourcing on tea.