Growers have appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to re-constitute Tea Board and provide for election of the chairman from the new members.

“Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has voiced her concern on Tea Board’s efficiency. She has underlined the need to revamp the Board,” Samir Roy, President, National Federation of Small Tea Growers of India, Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, told BusinessLine in Coonoor. He has been a member of Tea Board for over 30 years.

“Prime Minister Modi is showing direct concern on developing the tea industry. Last month, at the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, which he chaired, a sum of ₹1,425 crore (including ₹200 crore for small-scale sector) was allotted to tea industry based on the Commerce Ministry’s proposal. Tea Board should utilise this fund before March 31, 2017, but there is neither a properly constituted Board nor a full-time Chairman. So, whether this will benefit the industry is doubtful,” he said.

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