The Tea Board has threatened to recover the subsidy extended to factories in South India for modernising their machinery if the prices fetched by teas manufactured by such units are less than the South Indian auction price or private sale average price.
The Board contends that lower price means failure to manufacture quality tea.
It has sent notices to the factories concerned whose teas had fetched a lower price in 2011. “If this is continues, it will compel the Tea Board to recover the subsidy paid to your factory and also cancel the licence issued under the Tea (Marketing) Control order to manufacture and sell the tea,” the notice warns.
“You are requested to submit your explanation as to whether your factory is willing to improve the manufacturing of tea so that the price realised shows continuous increase indicating your efforts in quality tea production. Otherwise, it would be presumed that the subsidy did not achieve the value for the money and needs recovery,” the notice states, and asks for a reply on or before June 25.