Millennium Post

Seeing Tea Board as saviour might be mistake: Bezboruah

Kolkata: Amid speculation about reorganising the Tea Board of India, its Chairman Prabhat K. Bezboruah has said looking at the board as the saviour of the industry in future might be a mistake.
"Tea Board's mandate has been to help the industry and act as the governess to it over the years. I feel that era is past. At the very top level of decision making in Delhi today, there is a sort of uncertainty or disquiet about utility of this kind of organisations."
He said that there were talks about reorganising the Tea Board, Coffee Board and various other boards besides merging of these boards.
Bezboruah added that there could be a possibility of separating of the functions that the Tea Board and various other boards perform right now.
"There is also talk about bringing the promotion under one umbrella and bringing other functions of the board under the Agriculture Ministry. Research function of the board may be dismantled or may be handled by other organisations like CSIR or ICAR."
"Looking to Tea board as the saviour of the industry in future might be a mistake...having said that the Tea board still plays a very important role," he said while addressing the 46th Annual General Meeting of the Tea Association of India on Tuesday evening.
He also said the board became "over-active" in the field of regulations in the last few years.
"I think the spate of regulations or controls that the Tea board is imposing on the industry is a temporary phase."
Bezboruah indicated that the board would have more important role if it is merged with the Agriculture Ministry.
"If it is merged with the agriculture industry, maybe, it will have more important role. The Agriculture Ministry is doing good for the crops. Maybe, it can ensure that the growers get the fertilizers at the farm rate not at the industrial rate. Role of the board after reorganisation may change a bit."
Speaking on the roadmap of the board, he said, "I have submitted my own plan and the Tea Board submitted a plan which mirrors my plan regarding the roadmap. I had suggested either you have exports subsidy of Rs 15 a kilo or you have massive generic promotion campaign within the country."
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