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TN Govt to set up tea auction centre

Our Bureau

CHENNAI, April 12

THE Tamil Nadu Government plans to set up its own an auction centre for tea to help the ailing tea industry in the State, the Rural Industries Minister, Mr R. Vilwanathan, told the Assembly on Friday.

Replying to the discussion on the demand for grants for the departments under his charge, the Minister said the proposed auction centre would have representation from the tea growers and State Government officials.

He said the sale of "Ooty tea" through the public distribution system had been stepped up from 200 tonnes per month to 250 tonnes. This had helped the small tea growers by stabilising the price of made tea and, hence, the green leaf.

There were plans to make Ooty tea available to the general public through normal trade channels.The Minister said it was proposed to launch Ooty tea shortly in North India.

TANSI: The Tamil Nadu Rural Industries Minister, Mr R. Vilwanathan, told the Assembly today that the Government had decided to restore purchase preference to the Tamil Nadu Small Industries Corporation (TANSI). The organisation was expected to make a gross profit of Rs 3 crore this year. TANSI had also started looking for other markets in neighbouring States, besides attracting orders from the private sector. The Tatas and Reliance Industries had placed orders for the manufacture of telecommunication towers.

TNEB: The Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister, Mr Nainar Nagendran, today said the anticipated demand for electricity during 2002-03 was 6623 MW. The average daily consumption was expected to be 13 crore units, which would be met through the existing capacity and proposed additions to generating capacity.

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Board planned to add 1900 MW of generating capacity in the next five years. During 2002-03, the increase in generating capacity would be 521 MW — 103 MW from the State sector, 168 MW as Tamil Nadu's share of Central projects, and 250 MW from the private sector.

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