India upbeat about tea exports this fiscal

November 19th, 2008 - 5:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 19 (IANS) Even in a worsening economic scenario, India is expected to export over 200 million kg tea this fiscal, up from last year’s 179 million kg, a union minister said here Wednesday.”It’s too early to predict. Even under most pessimistic situation, net tea export will be over 200 million kg,” Minister of State for Commerce and Power Jairam Ramesh told reporters after inaugurating electronic auction (e-auction) of tea.

During the past many years, the average export of tea from India was 185 million kg. Before the economic downturn, India had targeted to export 210 million kg, Ramesh said.

The country is extremely bullish regarding tea export to countries like Egypt, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, apart from the traditional big importing countries like the United Arab Emirates, the UK and Russia.

Aiming at transparent and better auctioning of tea, the e-auctioning will start at Guwahati and Dibrugarh (Assam) from Dec 8-9, at Jalpaiguri and Siliguri (West Bengal) from Dec 13-14 and at Connoor (Tamil Nadu) and Kochi (Kerala) from Dec 19-20.

All the seven physical auction centres of tea would fully switch to electronic auctioning by Jan 27, the minister said.

A single auction platform would be established by Sep 9, abolishing all these seven auction centres, said, Ramesh adding that the existing physical auctioning centres will be converted into warehouses for tea.

The total amount of tea that goes into e-auctioning every year is around 500 million kg.

The Tea Board of India has roped in Reliance Communications, which will provide the MPLS-VPN leased line, which provides network connectivity, for conducting the e-auctioning across the seven centres. NSE.IT is providing the software for carrying out auction using the electronic platform.

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