It is 155 years since tea auctioning was introduced in India. Coinciding with this, a new era in tea auctioning begins on Thursday with the introduction of pan-India auctioning.

According to th Union Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia, who theoretically inaugurated the pan-India auction last month, this system could prove to be a turning point for tea auctioning as it is intended to facilitate better price discovery and higher trading volumes on the digitised platform.

The higher realisations are expected from broadening the buyer base through the new system. Until now, buyers registered with an auction centre in the country can operate through that centre.

From now onwards, registered buyers of any of the seven e-auction centres will be able to transact in all other centres as well. So, the buyer base will be large.

This also means that apart from a single registration for buyers, the new system will contain uniform electronic auction rules for trade participants in all the auction centres.

The world’s first e-auction for tea, Teaserve, was introduced in Coonoor on October 1, 2003, but it was a computer-based operation without internet support.

On December 21, 2008, the world’s first internet-based e-auction was introduced at Coonoor Tea Trade Association (CTTA) auctions. In 2010, Teaserve also became internet-based auctions.

Over the years, other auction centres in the country became internet linked e-auctions.

Sporadic instances of pan-India auctions had taken place.

A couple of auctions for The Nilgiris Winter Speciality Tea conducted by Nilgiris Planters’ Association through the CTTA were pan-India auctions.

Only now, 13 years after the first e-auction was introduced that regular pan-India auctions are coming into being.

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