The Tea Board of India has issued a notification inviting Expression of Interest (EoI) for taking over the management of six tea estates -- Birpara, Garganda, Lankapara, Tulsipara, Huntapara and Dumchipara, controlled by Duncans Industries.
All the six gardens are located in West Bengal. The notice issued on Monday said the EoI were invited for taking over management of six tea estates individually from interested tea companies-firms/ cooperative societies to "run the gardens in a successful manner as per the provisions of various acts and rules applicable to the tea plantations".
The notice solicited proposals for taking over the management of the six tea estates "who have failed to comply with the obligations under the Tea Act, 1953 as also the relevant provisions in terms of timely payment of workers dues regarding provident fund, gratuity, ration and other fringe benefits/obligatory dues". The Board would also host a bidders' meeting on March 28 and the last date of submission of EoI is April 12. The Board will open all the responses on the same day.
"The initial tenure of the management control shall be five years which may be extended as per provisions of Tea Act, 1953. At no point of time the management control of the tea estates shall exceed 11 years," the notice said.
As a pre-qualification criteria, the notice said the annual turnover of the applicant should not be less than Rs.5 crore and the applicant should have sufficient working capital of not less than Rs.2 crore.
The applicant should have experience of not less than ten years in running or managing tea estates having not less than 500 workers for individual gardens, it said. When contacted, company non-executive chairman G.P Goenka said: "I don't know and I have no idea. I am in Mumbai."