More tangible export benefits needed, feels tea sector
While there is enough thrust on the agricultural sector and agri-exports in the Budget, the tea plantation industry feels that there has to be more tangible export benefit to enable the stakeholders invest more on farms, factories and in making of superior quality teas.
India is the second largest producer of tea with an annual output of 1,275 million kg, which works out to around 24 per cent of the world’s tea output.
Yet, tea exports from India account for a mere 18 per cent of our total production. The recent increase in the MEIS scrip for exporters has been more than offset by the strengthening of the rupee against the US dollar.
This indicates the need for more tangible export benefits for the sector to command greater value for the teas in the international market and for making the industry export-centric, say industry insiders.
Parimal Shah, Vice-President, MK Jokai Agri Plantations, said that in the wake of the ever-increasing wage hike for plantation labourers such incentives become extremely crucial for the industry to survive and sustain.