Net tea export to reach 210 million kgs in 2008-09: Ramesh

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Kolkata, Nov 19 (UNI) Braving the global economic recession and armed with growing domestic production, India's net export of tea would reach 210 million kgs during the current fiscal, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Power Jairam Ramesh said here today.

The Minister made this observation while talking to newspersons after inaugurating the electronic auction system for tea here.

Mr Ramesh said though at present the net export of tea was maintaining a ''steady balance'' at 185 million kgs, there were some ''positive indications'' which helped enhancing the target.

He informed that besides the traditional tea markets of Russia, the UK and UAE, export inquiries were pouring in from Egypt, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan.

Referring to the e-auction system for tea, Mr Ramesh said the web-page system in the city would be operational on January 27 after going through a series of tests.

''We will make all the tea auction centres in the country electronic soon and by September there will be one electronic platform in India,'' he observed.

Mr Ramesh informed that about 52 per cent of the country's tea was traded through manual system, claiming that the e-auction would provide superior quality of tea.

UNI ADG DPM AK AS1628

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