Tea export:Ramesh for formulation of regulatory framework

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Kolkata, Jul 7(UNI) Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh today advocated formulation of a regulatory framework to maintain the quality and quantity of tea exports.

Addressing the annual general meeting of Calcutta Tea Traders Association here, Mr.Ramesh said a section of exporters had shipped below quality and lesser quantity of tea to Iraq.

Observing that such acts were unacceptable and undesirable, the Minister said the Tea Board had been asked to showcause the exporters.

''Such acts would bring down the global image of the Indian tea resulting in a grave damage to the export market. Some regulatory framework should be put in place so that these incidents do not recur,'' he said.

Calcutta Tea Traders' Association Vice-Chairman Gopal Poddar, however, alleged that exporters were not getting payments from importers in Iraq even after 12 to 15 months after shipment.

Tea Board of Indiaa Chairman Basudev Banerjee said last year the country's tea exports to Iraq plummeted to ten million kg from 41.33 million kg, recorded in the previous year, due to lower shipments and an appreciating rupee.

In 2008, the country was targeting export of 10-15 million kg of tea to Egypt, from five million kg now, he said.

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